We can still have some traditions this year. A global pandemic can't stop this small-town Michigan ritual of launching a decorated Christmas tree in a rowboat.

More than two thousand years ago, the Christmas star could be seen from across the sands. If you are on the M-22 bridge over Glen Lake, Michigan, up near Sleeping Bear Dunes, you'll spot this beacon of hope: the floating Christmas tree.

In a Yuletide twist on a Viking funeral pyre, Frank Siepker Jr. has been spreading joy each year by fully decorating a Christmas tree and then launching it onto the lake. It is beautiful, especially after dark as the glimmering lights dance, mirrored in the shimmering water.

The Glen Lake Christmas Tree Boat is actually anchored, and outfitted with solar panels to power the 2,000 LED lights that shine. Frank got the idea when he saw the effort his wife put into decorating the inside of their home for the holidays and he wanted to do something special for her. Years later, the family's children are now involved in the tradition.

Always beautiful, the image of the isolated tree standing on the water seems more appropriate in 2020.


Glen Lake Christmas Tree Boat is relit following a few days of wind whipping and wave battering, multiple light strands...

Posted by Frank Siepker Jr on Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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