Reason to fly? Offbeat holiday celebrations

Why leave home this time of year?

To visit friends and family, of course, but also to make your way to some of the towns and cities around the country that celebrate the holidays in an unusual way.

For a column on MSNBC.com this week, I found about a dozen truly offbeat holiday celebrations, including a competition in North Pole, Alaska featuring oversized ice-sculptures,

A Christmas Tree at the Corning Museum of Glass made of 800 glass ornaments,

And a park in Oregon where the holiday lights are shaped like sea creatures instead of reindeers.

You can see the full slide show of offbeat holiday events on MSNBC.com.