Alles wat u moet weten over alternatieve kerstdecoraties | alternatieve kerstversiering

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This is how the squirrels stole Christmas, or at least festive twinklers, from one humdinger of a tree.

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City staff traditionally string lights, using a cherry picker, around the massive evergreen on the lower level of Mel Lastman Square. In recent years, however, the red, white and green bulbs mysteriously stopped twinkling after only a few days.

The culprits are, apparently, one or more of the squirrels that celebrate the holidays by feasting on power cord, with all the dimming trimmings.

“It’s either squirrels nibbling on wires and cutting them — and we’ve seen evidence of that, a lower strand cut through — or sometimes maybe the animals running through the tree pulling apart the (electrical) connections,” said Esther Afriat of Toronto’s parks, forestry and recreation department.

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Rather than battle the bushy-tailed rodents, city staff retreated this year to alternative ornaments at the North York landmark. Spotlights are aimed up at the tree, bulb lights are strung around poles, and wreaths are hung nearby.

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“I’m hoping the square does look more festive now that we’ve got lights and wreaths out,” says Afriat, chuckling at public and media interest in the mischievous critters.

Residents have offered solutions including smearing the bulbs with Vaseline because, supposedly, squirrels don’t like the smell. Another suggested the problem might stem from tasty-smelling corn oil in the plastic used to make the cord.

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As for public reaction to the new decorations, Afriat says: “I haven’t heard any complaints and I haven’t heard any compliments.”

To local city councillor John Filion, however, waving the white flag forever would be, well, nuts.

“It’s a fabulous tree that looks great with lights on it and it totally makes sense to decorate it every Christmas,” he says. “I’m sure we can find a solution to get traditional lights back on that tree in time for next Christmas. Somewhere in the world they must make squirrel-proof lights.”

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One resident refused to believe squirrels could be behind the blackout, Filion said, and he had doubts before talking to city staff.

Now he says: “I don’t think it’s humans chewing through the Christmas lights but anything is possible. We have no visual confirmation it’s squirrels.

“I think squirrels are responsible. This temporary fix is fine for now but, if we can put a man on the moon, we can find a fix for this tree.”

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Lights or no lights, squirrels can’t stop Christmas from coming to Mel Lastman Square. In other years, it came just the same.

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