When I grow up I want to be a proper Christmas tree (the unloved 'bush' that stands at only 4ft)
With all the festive goodwill in the world, it can hardly be called a tree.
Even shrub could be a little ambitious.
Perhaps 'Christmas pot plant' is the most accurate description of the dejected looking specimen drooping on this village green.
A disgrace: The village of Sacriston was horrified by its four-foot Christmas tree
Barely pushing 4ft, it is dwarfed by three 15ft scaffolding poles adorned with multicoloured bulbs.
Unfortunately, they simply show just how far it has to go before it grows up into a real Christmas tree.
So it seems the residents of Sacriston will be waiting some time
before they can gather around singing carols and wishing each other
Which is why those in the tiny village in County Durham have branded the council a disgrace - and cringe when they recall the recent ceremony to switch on the lights.
Rather fittingly, Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis, who plays Del Boy's friend Boycie, was enlisted for the honour.
As residents pointed out, the tree actually looks like something that Del Boy would try to off-load through Trotter's Independent Traders.
Insult: Sacriston councillors have promised villagers that the tree will grow
Mr Challis, who was dressed as Captain Hook to promote his pantomime role at the Sunderland Empire, did his duty on Monday.
Reluctant to refer to the tree he told the crowd: 'Sacriston seems a lovely place and it's an honour to turn the Christmas lights on to mark the start of the festivities.'
John Meek, 72, a retired entertainer and former chairman of the parish council, was a little more blunt.
'This tree is an insult to the people of Sacriston,' he said.
'It's a disgrace. Anyone who has ever held a spade knows it isn't going to grow any bigger.
'The growing tip of the tree has gone, and all that will happen is the branches will grow out, it will get wider and look a mess.'
Another resident said: 'I think it looks awful - it's more like a bush. I thought it was a joke.'
Last night, Allen Turner, Sacriston parish councillor, resorted to that traditional British excuse: he blamed the weather.
'It's the first time the village has had a living tree and it was always going to be small to start with,' he said.
'The weather was horrendous a couple of weeks ago and the tree was damaged, part of it snapped off at the top. If that hadn't happened the tree would have fitted in the frame better.
'The tree will grow and will be there for many years to come. I have spoken to many villagers and the vast majority are positive about it.'
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