Christmas is an inspirational time - not least, it appears, for those vying for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The famous reference book, now in its 60th year, is chock-full of festive facts and figures - and we've pulled together a list of some of our favourites, from the oddball to the incredible.

Oldest Christmas tree

Janet Parker of Chippenham, Wiltshire with her oldest-ever Christmas tree, bought in 1886.

Every year, Janet Parker of Chippenham, Wiltshire puts up her Christmas tree, which was purchased - possibly from Woolworths - for her Great Aunt in 1886. Standing 30 cm (12 in) high in an ornate pot, it gets decorated with cherubs and the Virgin Mary.

 

Largest Christmas bauble

World's largest Christmas bauble

The largest Christmas bauble ornament in the world measures 4.2m (13.77ft) in diameter and was made of galvanized steel by Sergio Rodríguez of San Pedro Garcia, Nuevo León, Mexico, in December 2000.

 

Largest gathering of Santa Claus’

The largest gathering of Santas was achieved by 13,000 people in Derry City, Northern Ireland in 2007.

The largest gathering of Santa Claus' was achieved by 13,000 participants in the Guildhall Square in Derry City, Northern Ireland on 9 December 2007.

 

Largest collection of Santa Claus memorabilia

Jean-Guy Laquerre of Canada with his record-breaking amount of Santa Claus memorabilia.

Jean-Guy Laquerre of Canada has 25,104 different items of Santa Claus memorabilia (as of 30 November 2010), that he has been collecting since 1988.

 

Most mince pies eaten in one minute

Record attempt  for eating the most mince pies in one minute takes place at the offices of Real People magazine in London, 2010.

The most mince pies eaten in one minute is 2 - surely made to be beaten - which was achieved by Catherine Jones, Michael Xuereb and Luke Chilton (all UK) at the offices of Real People magazine in London, on 22 November 2010.

 

Most expensive Christmas tree

World's most expensively dressed Xmas tree

The most expensively dressed Christmas tree was valued at 41,329,531 AED (US $11,026,900), and was erected and displayed by the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 16 to 29 December 2010.

 

Fastest time to eat 15 Ferrero Rocher   

'Furious Pete' of Canada holds the record for eating 15 Ferrero Rocher in the quickest time.

The fastest time to eat 15 Ferrero Rocher® is 2 minutes 22 seconds, which was achieved Peter Czerwinski of Canada - also known as Furious Pete - in London, UK, on 24 October 2014.

 

Largest gathering of Santa’s elves

The largest gathering of Santa's elves in Wetherby, North Yorkshire in 2013.

The largest gathering of Santa's elves is 1,110 and was achieved by Stockeld Park and Martin House Children's Hospice in Wetherby, North Yorkshire on 9 November 2013.

 

Most Nationalities in a Nativity

The most nationalities in a nativity play was achieved at Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff in 2013.

The most nationalities in a nativity play is 55 and was achieved by Rev. Irfan John at Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff on 30 November 2013.

 

Heaviest sled pulled by Santa

The heaviest sled pulled by Santa Claus was achieved by Kevin Fast in Ontario, Canada in 2013.

The heaviest sled (or should be say lorry) pulled by Santa Claus weighed 15,950 kg (35,163 lb 11.73 oz) and was achieved by Kevin Fast on Queen Street in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada on 18 November 2013.

 

Largest gathering of people wearing Santa Hats

The largest gathering of people wearing Santa hats was achieved at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in June 2014.

The largest gathering of people wearing Santa hats is 30,333 and was achieved by Los Angeles Angels baseball fans at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California - remarkably, in June of 2014.

The Guinness World Records 2015 Edition is on sale now.

Story and picture credits: Guinness Book of World Records

 

Think you could break any of these records?  Let us know in the comments below.