An accounting assistant from Dundee has launched a one-man crusade to ‘make Christmas great again’ by taking a selfie with every decorated tree he sees this festive season.
Darren Kane, 29, offers a simple motivation for what he has now dubbed the ‘Christmas Tree Challenge’.
“Last year’s Christmas didn’t seem particularly festive to me; everybody seemed to be in a foul mood for one reason or another,” he says.
“This year has been very depressing… people seem to have hated 2016. I just thought we need to do something to make Christmas great. We need to get people back in the right mood for it.”
How does Mr Kane propose we resolve this collective malaise?
“I had this idea to take a picture of every Christmas tree I see, wherever I am – whether I’m down the shops or out on the town – if I see a Christmas tree, I take a picture with it and stick it on Facebook.”
“I’d like to get everyone else doing it. Just take a selfie with a Christmas Tree, post if up online and say ‘Have a Merry Christmas’ using the hashtag #makechristmasgreatagain #christmastreechallenge.
“A few friends have started doing it so far and it seems to be going quite well. I think it would be fun for everyone in Dundee and whoever else reads to do it and spread a bit of cheer. We want to end the year on a good note.”
With doomsaying headlines emerging daily throughout the year from all corners of the press, what in Mr Kane’s view has made 2016 such an annus horribilis?
“The number of celebrity deaths has been quite depressing,” he says. “Some people say Donald Trump becoming US president is horrible but we’ve still to see the true effects of that next year. I’d maybe leave that one out for now, personally.
“Brexit was obviously a big one. In general, people have been having a bad year. Nobody seems to have any good news. This is a way to try and turn that around, going into 2017 with a positive attitude.”
Mr Kane sees parallels between his challenge and a well-known craze that grew popular during one of the cheerier weeks in the last 12 months.
“It’s a bit like Pokémon Go, except with Christmas trees. It’s just a nice thing to do, I think.”