Friday, December 12, 2008
Ah! Christmas Tree...
They’ve put up a tree in the market. No-one consulted me about it and I have to say I have mixed feelings.
It’s not a real tree, you see. It’s a twenty foot high aluminium cone with strings of light running from base to apex at one inch intervals. On the one hand it looks pretty* and it hasn’t had to make the sacrifice of a tree**
We like trees. Even if they weren’t based upon a pre-Christian tradition (the reason they were banned by Cromwell) we’d still enjoy the whole festive cheer of them. The tradition of decorating them came from sixteenth century Germany, though the custom didn’t spread to England and America until the nineteenth century. Christmas trees bring warmth and cheer to a house.
What I do object to is the placing of trees so early. Traditionally, a tree would be put up on Christmas Eve and removed on Twelfth Night (6th January). I’ve seen people putting up trees as soon as Halloween is over.
Let’s not even mention plastic garden Santas.
* But only at night when it’s actually lit up. During the day it looks like a metal cone covered in wire.
** So we’ve saved the planet the cost of one tree, but spent who-knows-how-much in mining the ore, refining it, extruding the tubes and manufacturing the cone. At least all the lights are energy efficient LEDs.
photo by EssJay