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London’s sad Christmas tree

This year’s annual festive gift from Norway fails to wow social media users

Londoners flocked to Trafalgar Square last night for the lighting up of the Christmas tree sent from Norway each year – but this year’s fir is failing to dazzle.

Oslo has gifted an enormous pine tree, usually a Norwegian spruce, every year since 1947 in gratitude for Britain’s support during the Second World War. But the 24ft-tall tree shipped over to celebrate this festive season has left some social media users asking whether the UK has done something to “upset Norway”.

One side of the 80-year-old spruce looks “thinner and more sparse than normal”, said The Daily Telegraph. The tree’s patchy appearance was also noted by another Twitter user who asked: “Does anyone know what happened to the rest of it?”

According to the Mayor of London’s website, the annual gift is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo “with great care several months, even years, in advance”.

The chosen tree is transported to London by boat and then lorry, before being rigged up in Trafalgar Square using a hydraulic crane. Some critics have wondered whether alternative transport arrangements may have been made this time, however.

While the effort put into the gift is clear, other online commentators have suggested that the slightly less luxuriant condition of this year’s pine might be connected to Manchester United's sacking of Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The online criticisms have been dismissed by the British ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood, who tweeted that that the tree is “an amazing gesture from the people of Oslo” that was “appreciated by the vast majority”.

And even if this year’s gift is a little below par, said The Guardian, “is anything secretly more festive and fun than a disappointing fir?”

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