Christmas is that time of year when even Uncle Scrooge comes off looking like a generous person. It brings out the best in everyone. Or so I thought.
This Christmas, the world views not just the best but the worst, too. As Japan dazzles us with the most expensive Christmas tree, the most pathetic version of it was uncovered in County Durham. The elite Christmas tree is on display at the Ginza Tanaka jewellery shop in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, as an audacious disregard to the recession. The shimmering 24k gold tree is adorned with 240 jewels of pearls and diamond hangings among others. Weighing at more than 21kgs, the tree is worth a staggering £1 million. On the other end of the spectrum, the Durham tree was so pathetic that that it has been called a disgrace by the residents.
Local councilor Joan Maslin is being hounded by complaints by residents who claim the tree is depressing and has been pushing people towards a foul mood instead of making them cheery. And yet, this is the season of loving and giving and singer Natasha Hamilton was glad enough to light up the tree and perform in front of it.