The Christmas Weed we need

Merry Christmas, little weed, welcome back.

The Editorial Board
Tue, 03 Dec 2019 05:00:00 GMT

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The Christmas Weed — Toledo’s quirky spontaneous expression of holiday cheer manifested in a festooned dead traffic-island weed — was one of the great joys of last year’s holiday season.

The weed captured national attention. Or, more accurately, Toledoans’ embrace of the weed captured attention. Because what was really important about that weird little holiday display was how it brought Toledo together.

At first, the weed — an impulsively festooned dead stem on a traffic island at the busy intersection of Alexis and Secor roads — spawned some laughs and a little silly good cheer.

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But then the weed inspired a food drive, and a toy drive, and a line of Jupmode T-shirts that were sold for charity. Carolers serenaded it. Selfie-takers lined up to get photos. The weed became a focal point for a whole city’s Christmas wishes, material, spiritual, and otherwise.

“If you have a need, come to the weed,” became its catchphrase.

Now, the Christmas Weed is back. First, it returned in the form of a new children’s book, Crusty Cupcake Presents: The Christmas Weed, which made its debut at Oakdale Elementary recently.

Then, a new potted-plant version of the weed appeared near the original weed’s traffic island, only to be relocated to a safer spot at nearby Trilby United Methodist Church, 5918 Secor Rd.

Did we need a new weed this year? Probably not, but it probably also was inevitable that Toledoans who loved it so in 2018 would be ready to make the weed an annual tradition.

It is destined to be a magnet for mirth and generosity once again, no doubt, even if the second time around will probably not be able to capture the same spontaneous enthusiasm of the original unplanned weed.

But Toledo does not need the weed itself. Toledo does need and always will need the open-hearted joy it inspired. Toledo will always need to revel in something cheerful, something uniquely ours, and something so unexpectedly joyful.

Merry Christmas, little weed, welcome back.