They call the place Iceland for a reason. It’s cold, the weather is lousy and it’s covered in ice. It is also known for its sad absence of trees. For decades neighboring Norway has shipped a Christmas tree to Iceland for Christmas. But no more.
This week Norway told Iceland: no Christmas tree for you.
Officials say the tradition, which has lasted since 1951, ends because it’s not worth the cost or hassle. Local residents in Reykjavik however smell a rat. Norway tried to ax the tree two years ago and a large public outcry led to a reversal of the idea.
Of course, that 2014 event happened closer to Christmas. Norway has waited this year until the quiet month of July to drop the news this time. We’ll see if anyone is paying attention.
Complicating matters is another tradition held dear: Oslo’s gift of a Christmas tree to London, a tradition started as a “thank you” for allied support during World War II. That tradition, Oslo officials insist will continue.
Meanwhile, in tree-less Reykjavik, politicians there are saying the will find a tree somewhere. And gracious officials for Norway indicate they will crash the tree lighting party as always, even though the tree won’t be Norwegian. They’re not about to let a little thing like this get between them, you see.
This is the kind of thing that has a habit of coming back later during the year. We won’t be surprised to see more to this story as Christmas approaches.