Thursday, 10 December 2009

Up goes the tree

In the fascinating blog “Pond Parleys”* the question was raised as to when was the proper time to put up the Christmas tree. The 10th December was my Dad's birthday so when I was a youngster we always waited until after that. Not that we had much in the way of Christmas decorations in my parents home - allegedly there wasn't room for them, which was my Mum’s way of saying she didn’t much care for them.

In adulthood I've adopted a similar strategy of doing it the weekend nearest to 10th. That way I don't feel they've been up forever when Christmas actually arrives but I do have enough time to enjoy the effort of putting them up. But, as Expat Mum so rightly put it in Pond Parleys, the principal decider is when He-who-clears-up-all-household-messes (i.e. me) has the energy.

The week-end was chosen partly because when the girls were young it was the time I had them and partly because I was off work and we could wander around the nurseries choosing the tree at leisure. Nowadays it tends to be whatever day Jo can spare for her to drive me round to get the tree. This year is the exception because our tree is home grown. (I shall probably be mentioning that every couple of days for the next month – I’m so excited about it. The tree may not be the prettiest we have ever put up but I love the idea of it being our very own one.)

I got the boxes of decorations out of the loft and the first thing I did was plug in each set of lights. Needless to say two sets didn’t work despite all having been working when I put them away eleven months ago.

I wonder if the creature that eats socks in the wash in the same one that breaks the Christmas lights each year or is it a different one? Instead of trying to mend them I did the sensible thing and cut the plugs off (my bit for recycling) and binned the lights (my contribution to the latest landfill site). That left me with three sets of lights. Although the tree is over eight feet tall it’s pretty skinny so I reckon they should do.

Once the lights are on the tinsel comes next. Again, not so much tinsel needed this year. Then the fun bit, finding the hooks for the decorations. I know that somewhere in the four boxes of glass balls and other tree ornaments there is a box of hooks. I also know that it will be at the bottom of the fourth box. Ah, the joys of decorating the tree!

But, at the end of the day, it will all have been worth it to hear Son-who-watches-films say ‘Yeah, looks OK’ when prompted by Partner-who-drinks-tea saying ‘What do you think of the tree?’

(I’ve never been sure what angels did wrong that causes us to stick Christmas trees up their bums!)

* Somehow I have only just discovered Pond Parleys despite enjoying Expat Mum's contributions to MMM . Usually, if I find a new blog I just look forwards but I have a feeling I'll be exploring past posts on this one, it looks so interesting.

(The original of the sock monster picture can be found at Toycutter.)


  1. Love your tree -- and love your post!

    I just got our tree up and 'running' yesterday. The English Robin (an engineer by trade and a talented inventor by avocation) desvised a water meter last year that tells me at a glance whether or not I need to add water to the pot at the bottom of the tree. Works a treat.

    Regarding the little wire hooks for the ornaments: I gave up years ago, and every year I just buy a new box. They are inexpensive and it saves a lot of wear and tear trying to find the old ones.

    I love the Christmas decorations, but personally I subscribe to the gravity system: Remember that what goes up must come down.

    Our daughter on the other hand is real elf, and her house looks like a fairyland when she's done. So I just invite myself to tea and enjoy that show.

    Enjoy the tree and the season. Cheers!

    Canadian Chickadee

  2. Well I'll be blowed tempus fugit. Best get my cards done! MERRY Christmas.

  3. I think it's a lovely tree and all the better for having been home grown.

    Why don't you leave the hooks on the baubles? Do your hooks fall off or do you actually take them off after Christmas? Ours all have strings or cotton or wire hooks that stay on - much easier.

    Haven't written my cards yet either - the latest I've been for years, but I blame the house chaos. Thank you for yours, xxx

  4. Happy Tree Day!

    We're lucky with our tree lights, they always seem to work because they are all wired in parallel. I remember growing up that the biggest problem each year was getting the lights working.

    This year we went to a Christmas fayre and bought some extra large bubbles (glass baubles for the tree). I'll try to remember to blog them before Christmas.

  5. Helen, no matter how hard I try the hooks fall off. And Carol, I usually remeber and buy a box of new hooks round about October. By December I've lost the new box as well!

  6. I think here we usually put our indoors Christmas trees up much later, just before Christmas. But I suppose the tradition might be changing - I don't really know! Myself I only have a "mini" (60 cm high) artificial tree but with lights and decorations in matching size.

  7. How long has it taken you to grow an 8ft tree? I am sure that I would have become impatient and tried to use it when it was only about 5ft.

  8. I hope to have my tree this evening, as I have not yet bought one. I can't wait to get the ornaments out and decorate.

    I think I agree with expact mum about when is the proper time to put up a tree. I think it's when you clear enough clutter how to feel good about putting something else in it's place.

    Great job on your tree. That sock monster made me laugh out loud. I wasn't expecting that.

  9. What a wonderful post! I hate my camera! I have taken so many pictures and for some reason cannot get the lighting just right to take pics of my tree! I am hoping Santa will bring me a new camera, I am not a professional but I do know when a silly little cool-pix is ready for the drawer! ARGH! I love your tree! home grown too! and the windows you are displaying it at, how wonderful for all to see from the outside! Angels???poor little things! LOL my tree is too tall to add one this year!

  10. Nice photos, and thank you for that lovely plug.

  11. Lovely.
    ...and that sock monster...yikes! I always wondered what he looked like!

  12. what a lovely tree. Have not got around to putting one up yet. Great that its home grown.. Iain will approve. we have lots in our garden as you know but hate to cut one down. Co-op have great selection though....

  13. I'm the odd one out obviously (although I'd wager a guess that Adrian would be of my persuasion) and I shall not be putting up a tree. I have to say that, rather like the commercialisation of Christmas itself, I just cannot get enthused about Christmas decorations. I think I must take after Mum.


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