Bah Humbug

Dear Readers, every year since 1947 the Norwegians have sent the people of London a Norway Spruce to put up in Trafalgar Square. It’s a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the support that we gave them during World War II. This year’s tree was felled by the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen and a bunch of (presumably well-muscled) school children, and was transported to England by the Norwegian authorities.

So, were we delighted that someone had gone to all that trouble to cheer us up? Well, some of us were, but others complained that the tree wasn’t symmetrical and had damaged branches. Words like ‘gift horse’ and ‘mouth’ come to mind. One person even asked what we’d done to upset the Norwegians?

Well, all I can say is ‘Bah Humbug’ to all the complainers. Someone goes to all the trouble to send you a tree and all you can do is moan? I imagine the tree will look lovely when it’s all spruced up (sorry).

Oh and look, here it is. The Norwegian government even thought (briefly) about sending us a new tree, but as the Mayor said, the important thing is the symbolism of the thing, which is about gratitude, and relationships between international neighbours. Isn’t Christmas meant to be about love, and generosity, and compassion, and all those other good things? Let’s hope that the Norwegians don’t take the opportunity to end this 63 year-old ritual. Then we’d have to find our own tree, and it would just about serve us right.

Plus, this living thing was hacked down from some peaceful spot in Norway by a gang of youngsters, bunged on the back of a lorry, thrown about as it crossed the North Sea and finally stood back up in Trafalgar Square as a centrepiece for people to get drunk around, and to scoff at. A little more respect, please!

And just look at that little star on the top, reminding us of what it’s all meant to be about. It’s enough to make you cry, if you’re that way inclined.


11 thoughts on “Bah Humbug

  1. Anne

    The gift of the tree is, as you point out, an important symbol. It is also the structure upon which to hang all those decorations that will make people happy – or not. I enjoyed this piece.

  2. Claire

    What a beautiful Christmas tree! I may be childish, but, to me, it’s more precious because it’s a gift, remembering a great historical memory! Two reasons to be proud and happy…much needed in these troubled times.

  3. jentsplace

    I just wanted to say, before the year is out, Thank you for all your blogs – and how much I agree with the sentiments expressed in this piece. Bless you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Susan Hathcock

    Oh but it’s……a tree! In my eyes, there are no trees that are not beautiful. One of the things I love most about your blog each day is the likelihood of finding a photograph of a wonderful, always-unique tree. Those who have criticized this lovely gift, this lovely gesture, must have no appreciation for the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. Or as you so astutely note: horses and mouths.


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