“There stands Jackson like a stone wall!”
Thus spoke the Confederate soldier Barnard Bee at the First Battle of Bull Run. And just as Colonel Thomas Jackson stood firm at Manassas Junction, so does the New Haven Green Christmas Tree during the long months of November and December, the cold beginning of Winter Proper, the slow descent of the marvelous New England autumn into the savage wastes of November. (As a New Haven-area native, I can confidently say that it’s not actually all that cold, but I’ve been talking to a lot of Californians lately.) The Tree arrived on the Green last Tuesday, when a Twitter user by the name of isb_isaac (the News’ current editor-in-chief) tweeted a picture of two trucks bringing it home to its rightful position. The caption: “It’s a beautiful day for democracy // the New Haven Green Christmas tree.” A beautiful day indeed, Isaac — a beautiful day indeed.
But the tree’s arrival raises questions. Specifically, it raises one question: Isn’t November 4th just a little early for a Christmas tree? Using top-secret WKND algorithms, we have determined that roughly two months and at least one major non-Christmas holiday separate November 4th from December 25th. But I digress.
Aesthetically, the New Haven Green Christmas Tree is a monolithic form to behold. It’s large mass provides a much needed visual focal point to the eastern half of the Green, which lacks pleasing proportions. The Green in the autumn is a rather moribund place. But in the winter—in the winter the multicolored lights of the Tree dominate the snow-covered expanse, as choral music emanates from Trinity Church and children throw snowballs all about. For those freshman who have not yet experienced a New Haven winter: simply wait, and behold, for our cold, unapproachable collegiate gothic majesty can hold little weight compared to the tender beauty of the Green covered in snow.