(NEXSTAR) – Move over, Krampus. Woody the Talking Christmas Tree has arrived. A mall in Canada has resurrected its gigantic human-faced Christmas tree after a 15-year hiatus, bringing pangs of nostalgia to the residents of Nova Scotia and giving the creeps to just about everyone else.
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“If you have not yet seen Woody the Talking Christmas Tree — be warned — you cannot unsee it,” said one social-media user shortly after the tree’s 2021 debut in late November. “It is nightmare fuel, but you cannot turn away.”
Woody, who was once an annual fixture of the Mic Mac Mall through the ‘80s and ‘90s, was retired in 2006 by the shopping center’s then owners, who wanted to take the décor “in a new direction,” according to Tamitha Oakley, the general manager of Mic Mac Mall. In light of the pandemic, however, the mall’s new operators recently decided to awaken the “slumbering” Woody to spread joy to the local children.
“Woody the talking Christmas tree was a beloved holiday character at the mall, but Woody was a very sleepy tree, and the children would need to wake him up every year,” Oakley told Nexstar of Woody’s somewhat elaborate lore.
Oakley added that Woody “retired to the North Pole” in 2006 (really, he needed refurbishments and upgrades), but remained a “beloved character in the city and the province — and all the provinces of the Maritimes.”
Once new ownership took over the Mic Mac Mall, resurrecting Woody was “the first thing on their list,” Oakley said.
“It’s been a rough couple years with COVID,” she said. “They wanted to bring some lightness in dark times, give some cheer to the children.”
But for all the cheer Woody is spreading, there appears to be a significant amount of leeriness toward Woody and his inexplicable human-like face, with some joking that he’s “the scariest Christmas tree in Canada,” or that he requires “child sacrifices.”
“[It’s] been 3 days since I saw Woody the Talking Christmas Tree and I’m still haunted by it,” one Twitter user claimed.
In the weeks since his resurrection, Woody has also gained a tremendous number of admirers both near and far. Some traveled to the mall to discuss gallbladder surgery with Woody (for real), while others have recreated his likeness for their artwork, their manicures, and their cakes. Jimmy Fallon also gave a shout-out to Woody on a recent show, likening him to the “red-light, green-light” robot from “Squid Game.”
“A lot of people have reached out from the media, and a lot of people have poked fun,” said Oakley. “We’re happy to support that and laugh along with it. But our message is, we brought him back to bring some light in, for the children. Just to do something wonderful this year.
“I mean, he is a talking tree. People have referred to him as ‘creepy.’ But we certainly see far more people having adoration for Woody than thinking he’s creepy.”