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Charlie Brown Tree Comes to Life

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It happens every year — we go perusing for a family Christmas tree and wind up ignoring all the gnarled, crispy Charlie Brown trees.

So I’ve got to hand it to the city of Concord, Calif, this year, when it selected a mangled, brown park tree to serve as its holiday ambassador of goodwill. Rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on a fresh-cut Christmas tree, the city strung lights around a tree in one of its parks and brought to life a beloved childhood memory.

Not everyone was pleased. Residents called it a Charlie Brown tree. The move made national news, and the mayor and city administration stuck to their guns, arguing the city was broke and had cut far too much in staff and services to afford anything else.

And so the tree stayed.

And the city was reminded of the true reasons behind Christmas, going so far as to jump even more into the Peanuts theme and hold a blanket drive for battered women and children. Would that every city embraced this spirit and created its own Charlie Brown trees this season, rather than spent money on something that will only last a month.

(Photo: Contra Costa Times)

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