Upcycling Christmas Trees in Denmark

On January 5th when my country, Armenia, celebrated Christmas, it seemed like the Christmas season was officially over in Denmark. Whooshed in November with a stroke of a magical wand it always transforms the gloomy, grey Copenhagen into a fairy tale of lights, magic and joy.

If the month of November was ever able to speak and express its feelings, I am sure it would make a very heart-warming speech saying how grateful and fortunate it felt to be the center of so much attention and beauty. Of course, there is no other month in a year that is so full of juxtapositions. On one hand, it is dreaded so, as it heralds the arrival of hibernation season, the long and cold and dark winter… On the other hand, it is loved so considering all the Christmas buzz it gets.

But now it is January, and all the Christmas decorations are packed away, the smell of roasted almonds, never-can-get-enough æbleskiver and glögg is a long gone dear memory and the city is back to its normal self. I dislike this day so much, when all the Christmas decorations are removed from the streets. It is totally cruel. The only thing left is the Christmas sales, that was originally starting in January, but now it is pushed all the way to December 27th, when the entire country goes maaaaaad…

Vi ses next year :)

But wait… what about Christmas trees? Ever wondered what happens to Christmas trees after their short moment of glory is over (mind in Denmark it is really short)? Danish people usually put up their trees in mid to late December, and take them down very quickly after Christmas. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people, it seems like they can’t wait to get rid of the beautiful trees. The ultimate deadline is January 6th, that is when the Danes really have to get rid of their trees. But guess what… even this gruesome ritual they manage to turn into a fun, hygge event, of course!

If Danish is foreign and weird-sounding to your ears, then you will have to take my interpretation for it. Basically the above cutout was an invite for a hyggelig afternoon of what I call upcycling of Christmas trees. Next year when you have a Christmas tree that you are about to throw away, think twice… A la Danish it means gathering around in a square with families and kids, enjoying some kafe og kager, and of course we shouldn’t forget the main heroes of the day. The Christmas trees. Some arrived in Christania bikes, some were dragged around, some came in cars. For a few hours, kids were chopping the tops off the trees and turning them into whiskers, spaghetti-hangers, coat hangers and weather sticks, measuring the humidity levels. Very creative…

Finally close to 16:00 in came the heavy artillery. Tractors and shredders… sob sob… yes you guessed it right, it was time to shred the trees. At first I was completely shocked seeing the cutie tree get diminished into mere saw dust. But then I thought it is a much better way of recycling then throwing the trees in a trash to rot mercilessly out in some hole.

This one is not for the faint-hearted…

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