SOUTHAMPTON'S latest Christmas addition is fast gathering an array of fans on social media.

The unusual fir – the Leaning Tower of Guildhall Square? – has been the subject of slightly unfair speculation that it might be an art piece.

Nonetheless, it has provided a talking point for residents and visitors, and highlights one of the city's recent success stories.

In 2014 there were concerns that Southampton had lost its love for festive fun.

With just weeks to go, there was not even a tree in the city centre.

But a huge community operation, backed by the Daily Echo, saw a tree installed proudly outside the Bargate monument, adorned with hundreds of sparkling lights.

Since then, the city centre has seen a fantastic transformation at Christmas time.

Anyone who has walked down Above Bar Street – particularly at night time – will have seen first hand the festive atmosphere.

The Christmas markets have proven a hit, and the ice skating rink is once again hugely popular.

With Santa's sleigh soaring overhead, it's not an exaggeration to describe it as a winter wonderland.

So while it might be tempting to poke fun at a slightly unusual tree, it would miss the point.

The city is a much better place for its resurrected Christmas spirit.