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A Christmas tree grows in the city

People who oppose using actual trees as holiday decorations generally find it wasteful to cut down a living one for a few weeks of enjoyment then just throw it to the curb.

People who oppose using actual trees as holiday decorations generally find it wasteful to cut down a living one for a few weeks of enjoyment then just throw it to the curb.

San Francisco dug deep and found a solution.

For $90, the city delivers a potted tree tall and sturdy enough to carry ornaments. Varieties range from fruitless olives to Brisbane boxes. After the renter has taken down the ornaments, the city will retrieve the tree and re-plant it in a neighborhood needing greenery.

Best of all, renters don't have to pick up fallen needles for the next two months.

Associated Press

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One sad secret Santa

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. - An anonymous gift-giver, apparently depressed over a lost love, is believed to have left a $15,000 engagement ring in someone else's unlocked car in a parking lot.

The ring came in a box topped with a white bow and accompanied by a note, which read: "Merry Christmas. Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now. Merry Christmas to you."

A 37-year-old Northborough man said he found the three-diamond, white gold ring on the seat of his car, which he had parked at the MBTA train station in Westborough on Dec. 7, The MetroWest Daily News of Framingham reported Thursday.

Associated Press

A 'Carol'-ling we go

Charles Dickens' seasonal classic, "A Christmas Carol," was first published on this date in 1843. An instant success, the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge finding redemption has been filmed, staged and adapted numerous times since. But did you know:

- The novella was cranked out by Dickens so the author could pay off a debt.

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- The working title of the piece was "The Sledgehammer."

- Scrooge's name was inspired by the gravesite marker for Scotsman "Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie - meal man," a reference to his trade in corn which Dickens misread as "mean man." In truth, Scroggie was a generous, though lecherous, merchant.

Wikipedia.org

If there's something you want to see in The Rail, e-mail Features Editor John Lamb at jlamb@forumcomm.com

Today's best bet

Rodney Nelson, Almont, N.D., author signs copies of his books, "Up Sims Creek" and "Wilbur's Christmas Gift."

1 to 4 p.m., B Dalton Bookseller,

West Acres mall, Fargo

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(701) 282-2194

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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