Sunday, 20 December 2009

How to fit a pine tree into your living room

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.


The Weaver of Grass said...

The tears are streaming down my face as I write this as i am laughing so much! Also it makes me feel very old and ordinary with my tiny artificial tree on the writing desk. Enjoy it!

Totalfeckineejit said...

The revenge of the Christmas tree!So funny.
Brilliant story Dominic and one that unfolds in various guises in houses around the world.Do we never learn?

Pauline said...

A scene repeated across the world! I was on my knees with a saw and the living room rug mess just like you. Like yours, my light strings are old. I've donated the blinking lights to neighbors kids who relish such things. Cobbled together works - and if we don't tell, who will know?

Susan at Stony River said...

The Christmas tree and all its lights and the crowning star that never stays on are the reason my Christmastime rum-and-whiskey budget is so bloated.

Cheers! We don't have to wrestle it all *down* for another two weeks! Woot!

The Solitary Walker said...

One year we stayed in a cheap hotel in Rome for Christmas. Best Christmas I've ever had in my life. No blu-tacking Xmas cards to the wallpaper, no hypocritical delivering of good-wish Xmas cards to hated neighbours, no dried-up and overcooked turkey and... no struggles with oversized conifers!

Your post made me laugh too :) Anyway, Merry Christmas from all of us here.

Signed - Grumpy Old Solitary Walker

A Cuban In London said...

What a fun tale! Although, I gather that for you the situation was not on the facetious side at first.

Many thanks, now, go and enjoy your Christmas tree. :-)

Greetings from London.

Rachel Fox said...

Mark does all the tricky tree stuff here. If I had to do it it would be a twig in a pot.

Judith Mercado said...

LOL. Oh, the Christmas lights. Someone should write an Ode to the Christmas Tree Lights. Maybe someone has already. Every year without fail, there is a Christmas story around those #*! lights. You’d think we’d learn and just go out and buy new ones, but no, we never do. Thanks for the amusing story.