The city of Concord, California is holding its Christmas tree lighting ceremony tonight. And from the looks of the tree, it will barely be alive for the big moment.
Instead of a beautiful freshly cut tree like in years past, Concord opted to use an existing tree in the town's square. The switch saved the city $20,000. Not a bad idea in these tough economic times.
The mean-spirited would best describe the tree as pathetic. Those on the nicer side of life are reminded of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Embedded is a clip if that Peanuts classic for those not in the know.
The tree was scraggly to begin with, but at least it was green. It's since turned an ugly brown. You see, the well water the city is using to keep the grass around the tree extra green for all the people looking for an injection of the Christmas spirit is also causing the tree to turn extra brown. Well water has a substance called boron in it and, while that is great for grass, it is bad for this particular tree. The experts say it will recover, but not until spring.
"We had to consider the City's budget situation, and using a tree in the plaza is both less expensive and environmentally preferable," says Downtown Program Manager Florence Weiss on the city's Web site. "Although the tree in the plaza is smaller in size than a cut tree and has been compared to a Charlie Brown tree, it's large in spirit."
The good people of Concord are embracing the Charlie Brown theme and are promoting another drive Linus would love. They are asking people to bring in new, washable twin-sized blankets that will be donated to an area homeless shelter.
The good news is that it doesn't matter that the tree is thin or brown at night. A test run Wednesday proved the LED energy-saving lights look great.
Lori Preuitt thinks this story is about a group of people wanting to do the right thing, but hitting some bad luck along the way.