Longest-standing Christmas tree: Neil Olson breaks Guinness World Records' record (VIDEO)
WAUSAU, WI, USA -- Neil Olson put up his Christmas tree in 1974 when two of his six sons went off to serve in the Vietnam War; he planned to take it down when they were all home for Christmas; that still hasn't happened; five of his sons live in the area, but his eldest son, who was injured in the war, hasn't been able to make it back to Wisconsin for Christmas; the slim spruce covered in tinsel and dusty Christmas decorations has stayed parked in Neil Olson's living room for 40 years now, setting the new world record for ther longest-standing, all-natural Christmas tree,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: Neil Olson of Wausau sits in front of the Christmas tree that has stood in his house since Christmas of 1974. Photo taken, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo: Dan Young/Daily Herald Media (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records' record for the largest human Christmas tree consists of 2,945 participants and was achieved by the Government of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on 1 December 2014.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the most lights lit simultaneously on a Christmas tree; it is 194,672 and was achieved by Kiwanis Malmedy / Haute Fagnes Belgium in Malmedy, Belgium, on 10 December 2010. 350 garlands measuring 3 m (9 ft 10 in) long and fitted with 576 lights were hung on the tree. A slim spruce covered in tinsel and dusty Christmas decorations has stayed parked in Neil Olson's living room for 40 years now, and it somehow has retained its needles over those four decades, The Wausau Daily Herald reported.
"Most of 'em don't last," Olson, 89, said. "The needles are kept on for a reason. It's supernatural, I say."
Olson said the lights on the tree, which include large colorful bulbs, are German and close to 100 years old. He hasn't lit it up since 1974. "It'd just blow up on me. All that dust on there. It'd be like an atomic bomb," Olson said.
Neil Olson served in World War II and the Korean War. Several of his sons served in the military as well. Barry, the one in Washington, was injured in Vietnam. He's still in touch with the family, and Olson maintains hope that Barry will make it home for Christmas with the others one day.