People love this misshapen Cincinnati Christmas tree because it's so 2020
via Chris Demmler / Twitter

Photos of the 65-foot Norway spruce set up in Cincinnati's Fountain Square on Saturday morning are going viral because it perfectly represents how 2020 is going for a lot of Americans.

The misshapen tree's large patches and missing limbs made it look like a gigantic version of the pathetic tree from "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

The tree was seen by many as a metaphor for a long year that's left us all frazzled, frayed, and more than a little off-balance.








The tree inspired a T-shirt that's sure to be a collector's item one day.


Looks like it's been a hard week for the city.



All the attention inspired the tree to speak up for itself.






However, after news of the tree spread 'round the globe, Fountain Square officials stepped in to share some much-needed good news.

"2020 has been a rough year for all of us, including our tree. Our team is hard at work making this 65' Norway Spruce beautiful for the holiday season," they wrote on Facebook. "Stay tuned for transformation photos as we get her fluffed up and beautified after her long drive into town."

Evidently, the tree's decrepit appearance was due to the fact the team that usually puts it into shape was smaller than usual due to the pandemic. The team of eight to ten people has been reduced to two this year.

"Basically, at some point in the process every year, the tree looks a lot like this," said Emily Stowe, 3CDC senior event marketing manager.

"The tree makes an overnight trip from northern Ohio down to the Square. The tree is tied up from top to bottom for transport, with each branch wrapped up for safety as well as to keep the tree from being damaged. After the tree arrives it's lifted with a crane and put in place," she said, according to FOX19.

"The branches will be shifted and moved into place to give us the end look everyone is used to," Stowe said.

After a few days, the team slowly untied all of the branches and it blossomed into a beautiful, full, and very green Christmas tree.

If the tree was a metaphor for how 2020 was going for most people, its glorious transformation gives us all a glimmer of hope for 2021. After all, there's a COVID-19 vaccine on the way and the country's new leadership looks determined to help put America back on the right track.

Christmas is going to be a little different for everyone this year. But none of that matters as long as we remember the true meaning of the holiday.


Linus ... The True Meaning of Christmas www.youtube.com

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."