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Il était une fois un vilain sapin

The Little Story of Big Ugly Christmas Tree

Adorably askew
Published on
December 11, 2017
Once upon a time, there lived a Christmas tree that no one wanted. It was missing a few branches, lending it a scraggly look, and it was also a little crooked, with its head listing to one side. It was the ugly Christmas tree, and everyone made fun of it.

One year ago, images of the skinny, scraggly Christmas tree at the Quartier des spectacles made headlines all around the world. This year, its little brother, with the same crooked bearing, was stood up at the Village du vilain sapin Christmas village on rue Prince-Arthur in the Plateau-Mont-Royal.

Because the tree brought a smile to so many faces, organizers decided it would be used to celebrate imperfection and diversity.

Village du vilain sapin

Imperfect nature

“There’s been a return to all things authentic and natural,” says Sandrine, who stopped by the Village du vilain sapin on her way home from the office. “Picture perfect Christmas trees grown in rows are all well and good, but a crooked little Christmas tree holds a certain charm!”

Did you know that Canada produces about 5.5 million Christmas trees per year? Some 400,000 Québec households favour a natural Christmas tree. But the king of the forest, prized for its majestic foliage, does not always exhibit such a proud bearing in its natural setting.

“Each year, I look for the tree that inspires pity,” says Michèle. “That’s the true Christmas tree of my childhood.”

Légumes imparfaits du Village du vilain sapin

Imperfect fruits and vegetables are available for sale at the Village du vilain sapin, which also hosts 5 à 7 events and offers creative decoration workshops and a full slate of animated activities.

Giving a second life to a Christmas tree

Like almost all of its kin, the ugly Christmas tree that drew widespread ridicule last year ended its life in little pieces. In January, the boroughs recover natural Christmas trees to transform them into wood chips for use in playgrounds. Each year, more than 20,000 such Christmas trees are collected and turned into wood chips at the Complexe environnemental de Saint-Michel.

Presque le même sapin que celui du Grincheux de Noël!

Tips for lending renewed life to your Christmas tree

Your Christmas tree can also be recycled. Collect the needles and use them to make a fragrant potpourri. If you own a chipper, you can transform your tree into chips to spread on your property. You can even transplant the tree outdoors come spring!