The holiday season has officially arrived in London, but as the lights will be switched on Thursday on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, some have voiced their concerns the tree is looking a little sparse this year.
The Christmas tree is a nearly 70-foot Norwegian Spruce that's been an annual from the city of Oslo since 1947 as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during World War Two. The tree arrived in Trafalgar Square on Monday but was quickly met by comments by some on social media that complained it looked rather thin.
Once the tree was lifted into position as workers prepared to decorate the spruce with Christmas lights, another person commented; "The state of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square this year.... most anaemic (anemic) tree possible."
That prompted a reply from the official Twitter account for the tree, @trafalgartree, which wrote back: "Hmph! I thought I’d left the trolls behind in Norway!"
In subsequent replies, the official account told people an 80-foot tall tree won't look like the ones in their living room.
"The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is a gift from the Norwegian people as a thank you for London’s aid during WW2 against tyranny," the official account said. "They have continued to send a tree as a symbol of our enduring friendship. "
A spokesperson for the Westminster Council told itv News in a statement that it was "a shame that people have to always be so negative."
"This tree is a symbol celebrating friendship in the face of adversity. I don't know what people expect a 90-year-old 72ft tree to look like, but it is going to be different from a tree you have in your home," the statement continued. "The branches will be spaced out a bit more. We hope that people will come and enjoy it when it is dressed and the lights are on."
While the tree has seen critics take aim at its appearance, others have rushed in to offer their support.
"It’s a present. You don’t deride a present. You just say thank you and enjoy it in the spirit it was given," one person said. "Thank you, Norway.
Another user wrote: "Once the decorations and lights are on it will look amazing."
The lights on the tree will officially be lit on Thursday night, complete with yuletide carols, poems, and a festive market.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.