Iceland to receive Norwegian Christmas tree after reconsideration

It seems all the fuss was about nothing, as Oslo’s City Council has now decided it will indeed send its annual Christmas tree to the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, after an earlier decision to scrap the annual gift was met with fury.

A couple of months ago, the Norwegian capital’s council proposed bringing an end to the annual tradition because it was “logistically challenging and costly” to ship the tree across the North Atlantic. In return, it offered to fork out the funds to cut down a suitable tree in Iceland and decorate it.

However, the move went down like a lead balloon with Icelanders, who claimed it was a national snub and even linked to a fishing dispute between the two countries. Oslo mayor Fabian Stang attempted to cool the situation by publishing a note in an Icelandic newspaper to explain the reasons behind the move, but that did little to appease angry Icelanders so the city’s finance committee has now opted to continue the half-century tradition.

Stang said after the decision had been reversed that they were fully aware of the disappointment and uproar caused by the proposal to end the Christmas tree tradition, which he described as “more popular” than they had ever believed. His Reykjavik counterpart, Dagur Eggertsson, responded by saying he was “pleasantly surprised” about the news.