It was with some sadness and reluctance that we had to 'fake it' this year with our Christmas tree. As I blogged a week ago, the real ones were making us poorly, so I set off along the long and laborious road of choosing this years model and it was quite taxing. There are so many different sorts of Christmas trees. Who knew?
Basic pine trees of all shapes and sizes, some with lights, some with pine cones (who actually buys the ones with pine cones on?), some with fake snow, others with ornamental additions. Then you have the different shades of green or maybe something white or even black. It was mind boggling. A real tree was so much simpler. Turn up, choose one that looks healthy and not too wonky and the job is done.
I literally spent hours perusing the Internet and shops trying to find the right tree. It had to be fairly narrow, needed to look 'realish' to convince the littlies and I didn't want to blow the whole Christmas budget in one go. So in the end I settled for a cheap and cheerful woodland pine and its looks just fine.
Then for the decorations. I love getting out the decorations. There is something magical bout unwrapping those baubles that have been collected over the years. Some of the decorations are as old as O and the tradition has been that the children buy a new one every year and so the collection evolves.
Nice tradition. Yes, I sound like mum of the year, however my children have the worst bloody taste in Christmas decorations. They must have inherited their father's decoration choosing gene. It always starts so positively. Me in festive spirit suggests a visit to the local garden centre where they have a plentiful supply of lovely (and not so lovely) decorations to choose from. I gently steer the children towards the ones I like and they then gravitate towards the horrible ones. And I mean horrible. Large, loud, gaudy baubles. Not my taste at all. Not in keeping with the 'collection'. I tell them that we should keep looking, but like terriers with a bone, once they have that bauble in their sights, there is nothing that will stand in their way.
Every year is the same and we end up at the till with me parting with my hard earned money for a vile decoration that I would rather smash into a hundred pieces than put on my Christmas tree. Sorry I mean 'our' Christmas tree.
The eclectic mix of decorations means that we don't have a colour scheme, it is a real mismatch, but it kind of works. The other huge issue is tinsel. I hate the stuff. If there was a phobia of tinsel, I think that I have it. It shimmers menacingly at you and it makes me feel quite queasy. Again, my children love the stuff and again, every year a new piece of tinsel makes its way into the house. I always suggest enthusiastically that it would look lovely in their bedrooms along with the red shiny beads and gold 'merry Christmas' sign. This year, there is so much tinsel in their room, i am nearly strangling myself with the stuff when I go into their room.
But the unwrapping the baubles of Christmas past, I do really enjoy. Each year, some war wounded heroes leave the field but most soldier on through another year. Each bauble has its own story and memory and I love the conversation we have about previous Christmases. We have a 'baby's first Christmas' bauble for each child with a photo and they always raise a smile. Then there are the home made things which always make me smile. Then we have the debate. The debate about where the decorations will go. I try very hard to subtly leave the disgusting, gaudy decorations in the bag, but my quick witted children aren't having a bar of that.
Out they come in their horrific glory and now that the boys are old enough to do the decorating themselves so you can guarantee that the hairy orange ball thing and the bright green weird spikes one will take pride of place at the front. But I am a mum and Christmas is after all all about the children. So I wait until they've gone to bed and then I move them to the back where nobody can see them and then I move the decorations to where I want them as my children think it's ok to put several all on one tiny branch.
What about you, are you a Christmas tree snob or am I the only one?
P.S. Sadly whilst writing this very post, the large hairy orange bauble has broken (no it was not pushed) and has gone to the great Christmas tree in the sky. I will break the sad news to the children later today.