sad treeIn a story that’s playing out like an alternative ending to A Charlie Brown Christmas, shallow residents in Reading, PA are so disgusted by the tree in the city center that they are making plans to replace it with a prettier one.

Local news outlet WFMZ reports many residents are harsher on this tree than Tyra is on America’s Next Top Model, calling it “ugly”, “pathetic” and “puny”. Even the city is making excuses for the tree, claiming they didn’t want this one, but were forced to take it from a city park when the tree farm they hoped to purchase from would not allow the large city trucks to drive on wet farmland.

Here’s the tree, in all its scraggly glory:

Instead of engaging in all this big-o-tree, the town should be less worried about having a Pinterest-worthy tree and more concerned with helping those in need during the holiday season. So far the group Christmas for Downtown Reading has raised over $1,000 and hopes to raise $5,000. The group plans to use the funds to purchase a new tree and decorations for this year and save the remaining funds for next year. They also claim part of any funds left over from this year will be used for a donation to the United Way. That type of nebulous donation pledge is thinner than my mom’s explanation of Santa Claus once I got old enough to start asking questions.

Rather than telling the citizens of Reading to chill out and drink some eggnog, the town is giving in to this Veruca Salt-like behavior by promising a new tree lighting ceremony later this week once the replacement tree is in place.

I admit the Reading Christmas tree is never going to be mistaken for the one in Rockefeller Center. But I’m disgusted that people care so much. Never mind the ecological impact of chopping down not one, but now two giant trees- that they are willing to spend all this time and money and effort for something that will be relevant for exactly 31 more days instead of taking those funds to help people in need this holiday season makes me sick.

Besides the cost of replacing and decorating the tree itself, there’s the infrastructure costs of having another tree lighting ceremony.The message this sends to kids– that if you don’t like something, instead of making the best of the situation just complain, throw it out and spend money on a new one, is the polar opposite of what the holiday season is supposed to be about.

Here’s hoping the residents of Reading hearts’ grow three sized and they embrace their tree and give all those funds to charity instead.

(feature image: Jeff Cameron Collingwood/Shutterstock)