Keep “Tree” In Holiday Tree

As we enter the annual pre-Christmas “War on Christmas” bloviation phase that’s as punctual and predictable as St. Nick himself, it dawned on me that we’re alienating another facet of the Christmas-Tree complex, the tree.

Yesterday night, Gov. Deval Patrick ducked out of the Fox News cross hairs by declaring (contrary to the state house’s tree-lighting announcement) that the tree in question was in fact a “Christmas tree.” This just days after the Rhode Island governor’s “holiday tree” announcement somehow became a national story.

Certainly, it’s festive and cheery to see the holiday lights around town, so why is so little care in evidence when LEDs are strung on trees themselves?

The Beacon Hill tree provides us with a new classic: the LED-laced slip cover. I can imagine the worker unrolling the sheath over the tree not unlike an arbor-size Trojan. How long until it’s simply propped up by a flag pole or a crane?

But the worst offender (at least that I’ve seen this year) is the tree outside Town Hall in Dover. There, the vertically oriented decorations don’t actually reach the top of the tree. In any conditions except full darkness, it looks like a light triangle that extends about three-quarters of the way up a bushy cone.

This isn’t to take anything away from entrenched municipal half-assery, or the simple earnestness of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I enjoy both those things. But if someone’s going to make a stink about semantics, we may as well face the fact that these decorated trees (by any name) are, in fact, pretty weak for reasons that extend beyond mere nomenclature.