Facebook and Twitter light up Canada’s Christmas tree

Since hockey great Wayne Gretzky wasn’t available to twirl on a platform until Christmas, Canadians thought of a new holiday tradition: a tree lit up by tweets and Facebook messages.

A 30-foot-tree, draped with 3,000 multi-colored bulbs, is on display in Toronto’s Union Station. The Christmas Spirit Tree (not holiday!) blinks to the hum of online holiday chatter and, just like every hockey game in the country, is sponsored by Canadian Tire.

The White lights flash when Christmas is mentioned on Facebook and Twitter; green bulbs blink when the holiday is mentioned in the news; and the red bulbs flicker when blogs and forums discuss it. The tree flashes in blue when fans send a message to the tree on its website.

A social media monitoring service searches for Christmas chatter and the intensity of the bulb’s lights depend on how many messages people are sending and a “specially designed computer light software” controls what lights blink, according to the website.

You can even watch the tree sparkle online. We’ve embedded it at the bottom for your mid-afternoon amusement.

We reached out to the trees presumed American competitor, asking @30RockTree “Can you top this?

“Cool,” @30RockTree responded, then added:  “but I naturally bring joy to the world. No help needed. #AwSNAP,” he responded.

Aren’t the holidays the greatest?

Watch live streaming video from canadiantire at livestream.com
Jordan Valinsky

Jordan Valinsky

A former editorial operations specialist and staff writer for the Daily Dot, Jordan Valinsky is a tech reporter and web culture commentator. His work has been published by the Week, Digiday, CNNMoney, Popular Mechanics, Vice, Mic, and Betabeat.