Oh well, Christmas approaches. We equipped ourselves with a Christmas tree yesterday. We usually get ours these days from a farmer in the village. It felt curiously Christmassy walking up a field in 6 inches of snow to select it and remove it. (He and his granddaughter had built a tepee in the field. I though it looked a great place to spend Christmas - but in practice it would be pretty cold and I doubt if I'd get many other takers).
We carried the selected tree home between us only to discover it was a little on the big side. It would just about fit in the living room - sideways, if we removed all the furniture. A doorstep debate ensued as to whether we should cut off the top or the bottom. The top we decided. Also, the thing was still caked with snow. We did our best to get it off, then dragged it through the front door. There's only one way to do this with a monster pine tree: remove breakables from the vicinity and go for it.
Having to cut the tree down to size was bad start. However, the shennanegans had only just begun. The bottom of the tree was too wide to fit in the christmas tree stand (we usually have this off to a fine art). Out came the bow saw again. After fifteen minutes wrestling on the livingroom carpet with a wet eight-foot pine tree in a lather of melting snow and sawdust I reckoned I'd made the end small enough to fit the stand - just. I stood it up, Leaning Tower of Pisa fashion, behind the settee, while we had a cup of coffee and a mince pie.
We decided it would stand up better in a bucket of rocks. (There was a pile of suitable rocks in the back garden, and a bucket - all under 6 inches of snow). This worked - sort of. I tied the top of the tree to the curtain rail as a back-up. We then realised we didn't need to have cut quite so much off the top, so I made an extension out of cardboard and stuck it up the inside of the fairy. It looked fine. It even helped keep it's head on. Then to the lights. I soon realised that I'd got off lightly the last few years. It took another quarter of an hour to untangle them. They flickered a bit when I tested them, and I thought, as we'd had them for years, it might be a good idea to retire them and use newer ones. There were a couple of other sets in the decorations box, so I used one of them. Unfortunately, once I'd got them on the tree we discovered they were flashing lights. I quickly realised that living with a flashing christmas tree for two weeks would drive me insane, so I took them off. The other set was too short, so - back to the old lights. Unfortunately, stepping back from the tree, I trod on them. In the end, I managed to cobble something together, so we've now got a tree that lights up.
Oh well, serves us right for chopping it down in the first place.
5 years ago