Time-Lapse Trends: Christmas

“Time-Lapse Trends” is a video blog series which draws attention to some of the many exciting trends in time-lapse production. We feature a new trend in each instalment, to demonstrate the scope of the medium and the various ways in which it is applied, ranging from the popular to the more obscure.

A lot of work goes into preparing for Christmas, not least for the “big day” itself. Decorations, festive foods, events, and get-togethers – these all make up one of the busiest times of the year. Time-lapse is a popular mode of capture during the holiday season.

Perhaps one of the first things to think about in preparation for Christmas is the tree. Depending on its size and where it will be on display, this can be a complex operation and can take many hands to complete.


Heinz Hall, the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, is considered one of the focal points of the cultural-entertainment district of Pittsburgh. Dedicated in 1971 and renovated in 1995, the 2, 661-seat hall has an international reputation for grandeur and excellence.

This time-lapse video documents the effort and detailed process of creating the same level of grandeur and excellence for their Christmas tree and Menorah display. Set to the score of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy”, this can be put to use as an advertisement for the festive season to come.

(If you want to see more Christmas tree-themed time-lapses, look back at one of our previous blogs published on #NationalChristmasTreeDay earlier this month.)

Festive events

Aliaume Chapelle shines a light on the magic of city life across western Europe during Christmas time with his 4K time-lapse video.

Shooting on location in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, Chapelle’s impressive work showcases the hustle and bustle of activities at the Christmas markets – a popular festive attraction in many cities across Europe each year.

Focusing on people and light, much of this footage was shot during ‘blue hour’ so as to get the most out of the contrast between the yellow light of the markets and the darker sky.

Gift giving

Even when all your Christmas shopping is complete, your work is not yet done – you still have to wrap everything!

One of the perks of time-lapse is how hours of work can be played back in a matter of a few minutes. In this video by Raising Crazies, you can see 80 presents wrapped in 6 minutes – if only it actually took this long in reality.


However you choose to spend Christmas, whether that be with your family or spending a few days on vacation somewhere different, for many the festive period may involve travelling.

As such, airports must remain open for business 24/7 over Christmas. For Rovaniemi Airport especially, situated in the official hometown of Santa Claus in Lapland, Christmas is perhaps their busiest time of the year.

This time-lapse shows the airport functioning at optimum working capacity over the festive period, despite the freezing temperatures and snowy conditions.

The “Big Day”

Time-lapse is often utilised to show the comings-and-goings in a particular space, such as the home. Lory Coulson’s time-lapse shows three days in her house over Christmas time.

Capturing one frame every four seconds and played back at 26 frames per second, again time-lapse is able to emphasise the hard work that goes into getting the house ready for guests. This video also captures Christmas Day which, unlike a photograph, can offer a moving memory of festivities.

From everyone here at Time-Lapse Systems, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

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