Florenceville-Bristol — John Clemont-Adams is the 44-year-old owner and operator of Florenceville Tree Farms, a 50-acre Christmas tree operation that is currently at its busiest time of year. Families are flocking to the farm in droves to purchase the largest, greenest Christmas trees they can find to show up their next-door neighbours.
According to Clemont-Adams, however, a strange fad has arisen over the past few years. The tree farm owner said that many young couples in patchy wool sweaters and black, thick-rimmed glasses are intentionally seeking out the smallest, saddest trees they can find. The reject trees, the malnourished trees, the diseased and pest-ridden trees are all being sold to these connoisseurs of everything pitiable.
“It’s good for business, I guess,” said Clemont-Adams, scratching his lustrous beard in bewilderment. “Normally those trees get the axe and don’t earn me any money. I just don’t get why anyone would want one. Every other family that comes in keeps looking for bigger and better trees.”
Clemont-Adams asked his 20-year-old son Shane to do some research on this rising trend. Shane, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as a “social media expert,” found that the vast majority of these young couples were purchasing the trees, adding a few mismatching ornaments, and immediately taking photos to upload to Instagram and Facebook.
“I think they want people to think they’re poor,” explained the young Einstein, expertly jumping from tab to tab on his browser, showing photo after photo of sad, decrepit trees drooping in the corner of poorly lit third-floor apartments. “Look here — ‘We don’t need a giant tree to celebrate Christmas, as long as we have our family. #charliebrownchristmastree.’ Does anyone believe that? They’ve been dating for 3 months and every photo is taken with the newest iPhone,” scoffed Shane.
Tracy Fullerton and Glen McKay are one such couple who purchased their near-dead tree from Florenceville Tree Farms. They took a photo of themselves wearing flannel and posing with one of Clemont-Adams’ employees, who was sawing the tree for them. Glen was also wearing a tuque and a scraggly beard that was a pale imitation of John’s aforementioned magnificent mane. “It was such a real experience just picking a tree ourselves,” said the would-be lumberjack, who sadly has never lifted an axe handle in his life and has no intention of doing so. “We won’t be able to fit many presents under it, but it’s not about that, you know?”
Not everyone thinks this is a simple ironic trend. Dr. William Burton, a researcher at the University of New Brunswick forestry school, thinks the entire phenomenon is due to a decades-old conspiracy between Christmas tree growers and Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown’s creator, to sell the terrible trees that require no effort and tending.
“I have found evidence that Schulz and his estate receive a small commission from each association of tree growers. The reason they air A Charlie Brown Christmas every year? Brainwashing our children. This also applies to Thanksgiving and Halloween. Keep your kids away from the television and newspapers.”