This year’s Christmas tree in the middle of Trafalgar Square caused a lot more comment than usual. While unmistakably a Christmas tree – what else could it be? – it was lacking a certain something that we normally associate with trees: branches. It was a bit sparse all over, but some regions down below were particularly draughty, with a pine count of essentially zero. No doubt, with a bit of clever bauble positioning and fairy-light draping, it could be dressed up to give a more satisfying feel, but would never reach the levels of fulsome generosity of the trees we carry in our idealised mental images.