I want to wish all my wonderful readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Here is hoping next year will be full of joyous beading! And perhaps inspirations with Swarovski crystals?

This year's crop of bejeweled Christmas trees around the world are glittering inspirations. First stop is Hong Kong's  Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree. This 30 metre tall tree is sheathed with window panes and decorated with over 20 million Swarovski crystals!

The best view is at night when the 200 odd Swarovski Annual Edition 2010 Christmas ornaments are illuminated in an interactive LED display together with the 6 metre high fountain in front of the tree. This video shows the making of the tree.

Rockefeller Center's 2010 Christmas Tree
What could be lovelier than a Swarovski star atop a tree?  The Rockefeller Center in New York has had huge Swarvoski stars on top of their Christmas trees for 7 straight years. This year's 9.5 foot high 550 pounder features 25,000 Swarovski crystals adding much sparkle to the light from 720 LEDs !

Blake Lively unveils the Swarovski star that will sit on top of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in Rockfeller Center in New York on November 18, 2010.    UPI /Laura Cavanaugh Photo via Newscom
Actress Blake Lively (Gossip Girls) did the unveiling.

The tree itself is a 74 foot high Norway spruce which was brought into the city at night to avoid traffic disruption. That's one big tree which needed a large sparkly star at the top! Check out this video showing the lighting of the tree on November 30.

This 13 metre tall evergreen Christmas Tree in an Abu Dhabi hotel is a contender for the world's most expensive Christmas tree as it cost $11 million! Real jewelry featuring diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones were also used to decorate the tree and hence the price.  Although the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim nation, there is a large foreign population who no doubt miss home and will appreciate the tree.

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