Christmas trees for charity

SINGAPORE: They range from a small Fraser Fir for tabletops, which cost as little as S$48, to a whopping six to seven—footer for the outdoors, for more than a S$100.

Christmas trees — and live ones at that — have become a must for the festive season.

Many are also making the tree a present in this period of giving.

Mok Kheng Houng, sales manager at Ji Mei Flower, said: "I do see there are more local families buying, and for a gift as well; so not only for themselves but for their friends and families."

For the first time, the Christmas tree is taking on a new dimension — for charity. The 10—foot—tall Norfolk pines lining the Waterfront Promenade are named ChariTrees. They have been bought and decorated by 17 organisations, in support of beneficiaries of the Community Chest.

Ang Bee Lian, CEO of the National Council of Social Service, said: "We want to remind people that there are others less fortunate than us. That during this time while we enjoy many of the season’s greetings, season’s festivities, we’re also reminded that there’s also a part of our society, a part of our community, whom we can also touch."

The 20 ChariTrees will be lit up nightly, till January 1, 2012. The project was jointly brought in by Community Chest and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.