Sunday, 27 November 2011

Oh Christmas tree . . .

Anyone got any tinsel?
The inevitability of it is now upon me. I can't escape the fact that by next weekend, a jaded old fairy will be staring at me in the living room. No, I'm not talking about Louis Walsh on The X Factor. I'm preparing myself for the journey to the shed. Once there, I will battle my way past the lawn mower, the half tins of paint and the gently rusting garden implements in order to locate a series of elderly cases and boxes. With in these boxes of delights lies Christmas. Yes, the entire festive works, save for the turkey. Tree, tinsel, lights, worried looking fairy for the top of the tree - the lot.

I gave up on having a real tree after several years of disasters. One Christmastide, I left it all a bit late and was actually about to leave the house for New York when I hurriedly went and bought a tree from Sainsburys. Back at home, I snipped the netting open only for an entire pine forest to burst forth and fill the room. This monster of a tree blocked out all natural daylight and, more importantly, the telly. Back from the Big Apple the following week, I dragged the thing out to the garden and stamped on it.

The following year I made my purchase from a local shopkeeper who became forever known as "that thieving witch". Basically, she saw me coming. They usually do. The tree didn't seem to fit in any stand I had. I considered stapling it to the curtains but then thought better and decided to saw the bottom off. With no saw to hand ( I know, what a desperate household) I took a bread knife to the thing. How I laughed with festive bonhomie as the blood poured down my hands several minutes later.

My problems were resolved by a quick visit to John Lewis who then delivered Christmas in the back of a van. All I now have to do is find the tree, cleanse it of spiders/grass cuttings and hey presto - it's Christmas!

Feeling excited yet? No . . .
At least I'm getting in the mood. Yesterday saw me at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, a Christmas cornucopia of loveliness. Brandishing a turkey bap, I pushed my way through crowds of bemused looking tourists heaving into cups of gluhwein. Seriously, the scent of mulled vino was everywhere. Fair play to the organisers though. The whole thing could have been ridiculously tacky but surprisingly, the idea seems to work.

Just don't be tempted by the gluhwein before going on the fairground . . .

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