As I mentioned before in a pervious post, its not uncommon to be awoken at 6:00am on a Saturday because the alarm at the Belgian restauarant accross the road likes to go off at least once a month. I’m not sure if its a problem they just can’t fix or if the place is haunted.

Yesterday morning (Wednesday, Nov. 30), I was sitting in the kitchen having breakfast around 7:30am before work and I heard a familiar noise that I would normally hear in Canada in spring or late autumn. That was the sound of a chainsaw hard at work. Zinging away at 7:30am. It didn’t stop after a few minutes so I went to investigate. Maybe it was an emergency where a tree was about to fall into the road or against a building. Maybe it needed to be done immediately to save lives.

But no, they were setting up a Christmas tree.

X-mas tree in Brussels Grand Place (Europe)

Now I’m all for the Christmas spirit, I put my decorations up a week ago and started listening to Christmas tunage at that time too. But I have to ask how is this a logical thing to do in the middle of a quiet neighboorhood at 7:30am even before the sun has risen? Not only was it unsafe because surely they couldn’t see what they were doing, but also annoying. The crane was blocking the street so that cars could not pass on thier way to work, the noise continued for a good half hour and I’m sure they were standing there making it look like they were doing something because the tree was already standing upright in its place! I wouldn’t be suprised if the tree is lopsided and the decroations don’t go on it for another week or two.

What also came to my mind was, why do they need to chainsaw the tree before putting it up? There are absolutely no pine trees in the city center of Brussels, there are manually planted magnolia trees equally spaced down the sidewalk, but definately no trees that keep thier needles and still look good all winter long. So they weren’t cutting down a tree to place in the center of the sqaure and that can’t explain the chainsaw. Shouldn’t the tree be delievered already cut at ready to be set up anyway?

My theory is that they just wanted an excuse to make noise at that time of the morning. It wouldn’t be the first time I see city employees getting pure joy out of making a ruckus for no reason at an unusual hour. There was no urgent need to set up the Christmas tree before sunrise on November 30. There should logically be no need to use a chainsaw on a tree that has already been cut down and delievered to the center of town. I’m sure there is no chainsaw involved when they set up the big Christmas tree in New York for example. At least the outdoor trees in Brussels tend to look classier than how they seem to decorate indoors (see last year’s post on the Promiscuous Christmas trees).

In Canada, in my hometown, there are so many naturally standing pine trees in Edmonton and the surrounding towns that the city just decorates those trees. There’s no need to cut down any trees, get a truck to deliver it and then fireup the chainsaw for good measure just to announce that the tree is being put up. The tree in front of the church on the street I live looks sad in a way. It is hidden behing a massive statue in the center of the square and the tree is quote short so that the top can only just be seen over the top of the statue. I do like how they try to make it look festive though.

X-mas tree in downtown Edmonton (Canada)

It makes me anxious to see the groups of naturally standing pine trees decorated at home.

How is the Christmas decorating process in your city?

8 Thoughts to “Christmas trees in Brussels”

  1. Good grief! I would have been furious at a chainsaw early in the morning. We deal with that in our neighborhood during the summer – we have neighbors who think it’s perfectly fine to start mowing at 7am.

    Anyway, it’s this kind of stuff that turns me off on Christmas. That, and seeing Christmas crap in the stores before Thanksgiving.

    1. I’m more bothered by the faulty burglar alarm at the restaurant next door at 6:00am on saturdays. Chainsaw reminds me of the sounds of home, also I was already awake and able to see the humor in it…this time. 🙂

  2. Seriously?!?! That’s insane!!! I agree, it sounds like city employees who just get their kicks torturing regular folks with their antics. Weird.
    Well our Fredericton city looks much like your Edmonton – our city is plugged full of firs, spruce, and huge, old maples so the city peeps just decorate those to their heart’s content. With a light dusting of snow, the city is actually quite gorgeous over the holiday season! Albeit, it’s at peak enjoyment when viewed from the warmth of your truck, with your heated seats on, and a hot chocolate! 🙂

    1. LOL. The naturally standing trees that get decorated are stunning. I think Canada should be a winter holiday destination just for that reason. And when they are dusted with snow, can’t get any better. I also like to do a drive around the decorated blocks in the warmth of the car with some Tim Hortons. 🙂

  3. LOVE the picture of the trees in Edmonton, Nicole. You must really miss home at this time of year. I grew up in Pennsylvania where there were TONS of trees to decorate without (hack!) killing them. Texas? Not so much. I miss the north during this time of year.

    As for the chain saws: 7 a.m. is a Christmas Glee killer.

    However, there IS a reason they might need to use a chain saw before putting the tree up. We used to harvest our own tree each year from a tree farm (and didn’t use the Chevy Chase take-the-roots-with strategy). Unless the tree went into the stand within an hour of when it was harvested, we were told to cut another two plus inches from the bottom because the tree sap on a harvested tree will congeal, making it incapable of absorbing the water in the tree stand. So! Unless you want your tree drying out and dropping its needles on the carpeting–a cut immediately prior to putting it in the tree stand is a must. THAT concludes my Christmas tree service announcement. Which is a good thing. Because it’s all I know that’s worth sharing.

    Off now to continue decking them halls…

    1. WOW very informative. Thanks so much Gloria. Interesting about the sap. Also love the Chevy Chase comment. Made me laugh and want to watch that movie now. There is no Christmas like those in the great white north. 🙂

  4. Em

    I think they used chainsaws at that time of the morning simply because they could! In my town they put up a tree and have bunting and lights in the streets which is so pretty and they also have a candlelight procession where children in school make lanterns out of cane and paper and they but candles in them, also very pretty.

    I love Christmas!!!

    1. Wow that sounds very pretty to see. I love Christmas too!!

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