Christmas Tree Arguments Down Under

Christmas trees are problematic in the southern hemisphere. While much of the world relishes a cold Christmas with snow, sleigh bells and frosted trees warm weather locales celebrate Christmas in the heat of summer. They tend to adopt the iconic traditions of Christmas the best they can — especially with Christmas trees.

Mexico and Brazil have famous larger-than-life Christmas trees made of metal structures housing millions of lights. In Australia they do much the same thing, turning the lighting of the Christmas tree into an event akin to anything done on the 4th of July in America with bbq’s, beach wear and fireworks.

But this has been a summer of discord over the topic of public Christmas trees in Australia. At issue are the thorny topics of cost and looks.

In Hobart they erected a tree that gained international attention for it’s progressive art form. As a tree it looked like anything but a celebration of Christmas. Now there are some calling for it to be replaced.

In the port city of Geelong the controversy over their expensive floating Christmas tree has raged for three seasons now. The massive tree was criticized for its cost even though the city planned huge community lighting and holiday events that drew massive crowds. Sparring political opponents took sides — and the anti-tree crowd has lost. An entire council of politicians lost their jobs over the issue and now embarrassed city officials are left to admit that, doggone it, the tree actually brought a 540% return on investment to the city. Oops.

Look for the Geelong tree to return this year with an all-new expensive star added to the top of the tree that is sure to once again be featured in international media.

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