The Australian city of Hobart — a state capitol city — had a reputation for the worst Christmas decorations in Australia. Australia is big on Christmas — so this was not a good image for the city.
So last year they sponsored the creation of a new city Christmas tree — and it was quickly dubbed by the public as the ugliest tree ever, becoming a joke on social media and an international embarrassment to the city.
The tree was of modern art design and had zero traditional elements to it. No pine boughs, no baubles, and no star or angel at the top. It was merely a twisted frame of metal designed to allow the public to walk inside the tree and look up at the sky through it. To many who walked past the tree the thing did little to suggest it was a Christmas tree at all. As the city publicized the lighting of the tree and sent pictures to the media cries of “Where’s the tree?” were not taken seriously.
Hobart, it seemed, didn’t even have the Charlie Browniest of Christmas trees. It was much, much worse.
So during this off-season the city council in Hobart has taken up the issue and the debate centered on whether or not the tree could be saved and improved upon.
After all, $35,000 had been spent and there was some face saving that needed to be done.
So the Lord Mayor consulted some experts and presented another plan. She was laughed and ridiculed out of the chamber after proposing changes that would cost nearly double the original expense of the tree. Her answer seemed to be filling the center of the tree with a brass dome and dressing the tree skeleton with traditional Christmas elements at Christmas time.
There was hope that someone in Hobart had some love for the tree. “It’s dearly loved by the traders of Salamanca and they want to hold onto the tree, they want to keep it all-year round as an architectural piece and then kept as a Christmas tree at Christmas time,” said one Alderman.
But the tree is simply too hated to be saved.
Alderman Marti Zucco, who dubbed the first design akin to a tomato trestle, said he was surprised the plan even came to council for consideration. “It was overwhelmingly rejected practically all over the world,” he said. “To then try and spend another $50,000 to put a brass dome in the center of it is absolutely ludicrous. I’m baffled as to who actually allowed the report to get to council in the first place – I’m concerned council officers spent time and effort doing this. “It reflects the capital city, and to have a structure that looks like a tomato structure and sell it as a Christmas tree is beyond belief – and to spend another $50,000 sprucing it up is beyond comprehension.”
What will become of Hobart’s tree? Recyclers are apparently standing by.