Posts Tagged ‘Christmas tree’

As this is to be our first Christmas at home for ages and children will be with us, it was an easy decision that we should have a tree.

Obviously, when I say ‘easy’, I mean that it didn’t take more than two evenings of debate before Geoff came round to my way of thinking.

A third evening’s debate was needed to decide that it should go in the sitting-room (his idea) and not the hall (my idea). A tactical climbdown on my part, obviously.

All we needed to do then was get a tree. A small one, we were agreed on that at least, and not too soon or its chances of survival until the family’s arrival would be slim. Since we have two ailing houseplants currently in intensive care, a whole tree is going to have to have very strong survival instincts.

I burrowed in cupboards and hauled out bags and boxes of lights, baubles and a miscellany of other items that have adorned trees in our various homes over the past very many years. Each tells a story, carrying a memory that fills my emotions as I pathetically caress it and welcome it back into service.

First, though, the tree. We head off to a farm and explain our requirements. I flap my arms and indicate an approximate height. “Six feet, then,” the chap says, with authority.

Geoff and I protest. No no, that’s far too big. We only want something modest with nice neat branches.

We are shown about a dozen others, all of them huge, until a much smaller one is produced and I say, impetuously, “That’ll do!”

The farmer tells us the price and there’s a crash as something keels over in the muddy farmyard: it’s the familiar sound of Geoff passing out in shock at yet another reminder of 21st century life. While he recovers, I arrange a mortgage and the farmer fits our million-pound purchase into a plastic corset that shows it who’s boss.

It just about fits in the car. I don’t mind at all that it’s bouncing on my head and bits of it are attacking my ears.

We drive home with our trophy, slide it out and stand it up. It’s enormous! It’s far, far bigger than we’d intended. Big enough for Trafalgar Square. Geoff doesn’t need to speak. I know what he’s thinking and he’s right, of course. It is my fault.

We can both feel huge Christmas headaches coming on, not least because we fear that smaller grandchildren may go missing in the tree.

It is currently in a bucket of water in the garden where I am hopeful it may shrink. Failing that, I may set it up in the garage – fully decorated and topped with its angel, of course.

UPDATE: The dilemma I referred to in last week’s column, about the double delivery of a bagatelle board and what to do about the extra one, has been resolved.

I called the company, Jacques of London, and a lovely woman explained that computer problems had caused several customers to receive repeat orders by mistake. It’s too difficult and costly to arrange for your spare to be collected, she said, so we would like you to donate it to a charity of your choice.

What an extraordinarily generous gesture! I was so touched and impressed that I spent several minutes gushing my thanks.

I’ve already contacted an appropriate charity and I am confident that Jacques will soon be the toast of many, many grateful people.


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