This year’s Trafalgar Square Christmas tree has drawn criticism for its sparse appearance and perceived lack of vitality, sparking reactions on social media and from observers passing by.

Erected in its customary place in central London to mark the start of the festive season, the tall spruce fell short of expectations for some, prompting pointed comments online. One commenter noted, “That’s only half the tree,” while another quipped, “Where’s the other half of it?!” Someone else remarked, “Does it strike anyone else as quite lifeless?” Another quipped: “Just like the Tory government, the tree is imitating a corpse.”

Westminster Council, managing the official account for the tree, responded to the negativity, emphasizing, “It’s not always about the exterior. This tradition holds beauty and significance for years to come.”

This gift from Norway, an annual offering since 1947, symbolises gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II. Despite its historical significance, it’s faced ongoing ridicule, with descriptions like “ropey” and “spindly” attached to it over the years.

Despite the detractors, defenders emerged on social media, lamenting the disrespect toward the tradition. “They’re always so critical! Everyone looks a bit worn out after a long journey, right? (Again symbolic of the Tory government.) Let it have time to spruce up!”

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