As someone who loves trees, it warms my heart to see living trees included in a children’s ritual, as opposed to the jule thing, where they are just cut off and discarded. To those unfamiliar with the Scandinavian tradition: the pacifier tree is where children in a rite of passage sacrifice the pacifiers. They are left behind in clusters, tied to the branches with little parting notes attached and it is a huge deal for these small human beings. There are quite a few pacifier trees in Copenhagen, this one is in Fælledparken (home of the Tower Playground).
Having a tree like this makes so much sense, it teaches children that they are not alone in this. It is never too early to learn that we are not alone.
After a while the pacifiers are cut down, to make room for new ones.
To understand what kind of agony these children are going through, we just have to think about our smartphones or internet connection. Maybe one day there will be a SIM card tree? Visited by teary-eyed, whimpering grown-ups?
The pacifier tree has recently branched out, and at least one is now blooming in the US.
I'm telling you: we are not alone. And we are not so different.