Name: Disappointing Christmas trees.
Height: As much as 25m.
Appearance: Well, this is the thing. Some are described as “rubbish” and “just shocking”, while others are “a bit of a joke” and – wait for it – “not very Christmassy”.
Is this like the big Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar Square being called “sad and spindly”? No! That’s a 50 to 60-year-old spruce – Picea abies – sent from Norway every year as a show of gratitude to the British for their support during the second world war. And while one Christmas tree critic tweeted: “Crikey, who has upset Norway?”, you can’t really be disappointed by such a majestic gesture.
So what are we talking about then? We are talking about people’s civic pride being dented when they wait with excitement to see the festive joy of their local Christmas lights switch on, only to find a pylon in place of a tree.
Has that happened? It’s been going on for years, residents complaining about their town’s pathetic attempts at Christmas decorations, from Birkenhead and Crosby to Tyldesley, Ashington, Newry and Muswell Hill.
Can we have some specifics? Well, there was a cone-shaped, metal-frame Christmas tree that prompted resident Robert Williams to ask: “Is that it? It’s a load of bloody rubbish. It’s a waste of bloody space.”
That does sound rubbish to be fair. Not as rubbish as one unveiled by the Lord Mayor of the City of London outside his official residence, Mansion House. It is actually made of rubbish, from bins and street sweepers in the area.
Well, at least that sounds more sustainable. That’s the idea, to highlight the waste that accumulates over the festive period. It could be worse.
Could it? Sure – see Rhondda Cynon Taf in south Wales, where people have been moaning about the state of the Christmas trees that have been put up across the borough. “Rubbish”, “awful” and “shocking” are some of the words being thrown about. But even they are probably not the worst …
More, please. I’m enjoying this. OK, so a metal tree outside Cardiff Central station has been slammed by the locals, who say it could be mistaken for “scaffolding” and a “pylon”.
Merry Gridmas. Not a great year for Wales, then? Well no, but even that has been trumped in Lincolnshire …
Oh gawd, go on. The puny tree erected outside Grimsby shopping centre has been called “depressing” and “disgusting”, as well as the ultimate badge of shame: “Britain’s worst Christmas tree”.
Do say: “I’m sure it will look a lot better once it’s been spruced up [pun intended] and had its lights and decorations put on.”
Don’t say: “Bah, humbug.”