“Ugly Tree” Helps Pennsylvania Town Find True Meaning of Christmas

“Ugly Tree” Helps Pennsylvania Town Find True Meaning of Christmas

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charliebrown tree christmas-ReadingPA-MorningCall-FrankWarner

Rain delayed the dedication yesterday of the so-called “ugly” Christmas tree in a town square in Reading, Pennsylvania, but a single red ornament placed on its drooping branches made the spirit of the season shine extra brightly.

In late November, the city’s first-choice for a community tree was unobtainable because of soggy conditions that couldn’t support a truck. Their second choice proved controversial because of its spindly, unshapely appearance.

After an uproar of disapproval, workers removed the decorations and lights that had been erected, saving them for a replacement tree. But a stay of execution was granted when the town council voted to keep the 50-foot Norwegian pine and give it the “Charlie Brown treatment,” to remind people of the deeper meaning of the season as told in the beloved “Peanuts” holiday story.

“Nobody is perfect,” one town councilman said.

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Additionally, officials thought that keeping the tree might boost tourism in one of the country’s poorest cities because so many news reports had featured the “ugly tree”.

To placate the critics, money was donated to purchase a lush, shapely tree to be fully decorated and placed elsewhere in the town.

And, best of all, the Morning Call reports that, “like the famed cartoon tree, Reading’s evergreen will not remain forlorn for long.” A local minor-league hockey team and others have donated ornaments, and a local real estate agent has donated the use of a bucket truck to drape them on its highest branches.

Photo credit: Frank Warner of the Morning Call

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