Help! This tree has fallen, but he’s bringing NJ’s Christmas spirits up!
What makes for a great Christmas tree?
Personality? Check. The ability to bring people together? Check. A ridiculous look on its "face" and a callback to a 1990s Life Art commercial?
Che ... wait, what?
Community members around Oak Ridge, New Jersey have been having lots of fun with a tree that's fallen alongside Berkshire Road.
Gail O'Keefe, who lives nearby, wrote in a Facebook group dedicated to the tree that she first noticed someone had put eyes above a hole in the tree in September, giving it a "face." The eyes were removed the next time she saw the tree — but soon, a community member came through with new ones.
O'Keefe added ribbons, and a woman added a hat, and from there it grew, she said. O'Keefe added hair. Someone's left a "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up" sign alongside it.
Leslie A Chilenski nicknamed the tree "Buddy."
Another sign left on the tree:
"I've been lying here just deadwood, amongst these living trees / Till someone stopped and gave me eyes, so that I could see. / Next they covered me with clothing, jewelry and a hat to keep me warm. / These gifts will comfort and protect me throughout a nasty storm. / Thank you all for stopping by. I hope I make you smile. / In this mixed up crazy world, "laugh," if only for a while."
Dozens of community members have been stopping by to add more or to take pictures with the tree. Nearly 1,200 have joined its Facebook group.
"I hope people will continue to decorate each holiday," O'Keefe wrote." It really helps make people smile on their commute."