If you are looking beyond the artificial dancing trees that play funkadelic music and have flashing lights that dance like the patterns on the floor of a discotheque, you really ought to make the trek (drive) to Sequoia National Park to the source. The Nation's Christmas Tree, General Grant, is celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in December each year in "Trek to the Nation's Christmas Tree". In 201o the ceremony is held on Dec. 12 at 2:30 p.m. A wreath is placed at the base of the tree in a simple event to honor those who gave their lives for their country.
This is not the nation's Christmas tree they cut each year and ship to Washington, D.C. from the West. The Nation's Christmas Tree is very much alive and has been for over 1,700 years-and there are no plans of ever cutting it and carting it off to D.C.! In the Sequoia National Forest in California, General Grant Tree was declared the Nation's Christmas Tree in 1926 by President Calvin Coolidge. In 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared this tree a National Shrine as a memory to honor those who have given their lives in millitary service.
General Grant is the third largest tree in the world, weighing 1,254 tons, measuring 268 feet high, 107 feet in circumfrence at its base, and it is so big it would take 20 people holding hands around its base to circle the tree completely.
Getting to Sequoia National Park is an easy drive taking just over half a day from L.A. or San Francisco. Accommodations inside the park are limited to Wuksachi Lodge and other spots in and out of the park. Snow tires or changes may be required this time of year. Check conditions at: nps.gov