Susan Morrison: We need a charity appeal for abandoned Christmas trees

The windows of Leith Walk put on a splendid display this Yuletide. For my money, they even bested Morningside.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 6:00 am
Christmas trees lie discarded in a street in Leith (Picture: Steven Scott Taylor)

Great Junction Street had a penchant for the LED colour-changing artificial tree, whilst I noted the New Town preference ran to the towering natural pine and white bulbs.

Dear council, why not have a prize for best street next year? My idea. Bet they steal it.

They brightened the dark days, and now it’s time to say goodbye. We ­always took the tree down on January 6. For one thing, the kids loved it.

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And it was nice timing for them going back to school, although I am fairly certain that those pressie-giving Three Wise Men who rocked up on the first twelfth night didn’t hang off on the adoration bit just so their arrival could coincide with the term timetable of the Edinburgh education system in the 20th and 21st centuries. It is traditional, Twelfth Night and all that.

Shakespeare even wrote a play about it, so it must be real, like ­MacBeth. However, should MacB take a stroll along Great Junction Street today, perhaps popping along to pick up a good hand wash for Lady MacB to wash out those damned spots of blood, he’d probably get the screaming abdabs, because it looks like the predicted murderous walking trees of Birnam Wood are having a bit of a rest, or waiting for the bus.

Trees started appearing on Boxing Day. Who takes down a tree on ­Boxing Day? Who has the energy, for one thing? Is it a result of a serious sugar rush following too many boxes of ­After Eights? Suddenly the fairy must be tackled and the lights shoved back in the box?

Since that day, more and more have been appearing, all over the city, some leaning together, some sadly on their own. One is planted on top of a nearby bus stop.

They look so forlorn, I’ve been half expecting one of those gut-wrenching ads to appear on the telly with some celebrity doing that mournful voice they always do when they are trying to get money out of us. “Just two pounds a week mean we can look after these distressed pines in our tree house.”

One friend startled me by telling me she always took her the tree and the whole shooting match down on Christmas Night. As if the day wasn’t hard enough work already.

But, lest we forget, there will be those grimly hanging on. Sometimes until the end of January. Heck, into summer, when we can no longer see them, but they still twinkle on to raise our spirits. Trees of colour-changing LED artificiality, shine on!