Back to Business
Posted by Exile on January 4, 2009
Do you remember the old Christmas song about the “Twelve days of Christmas”? And all those repeated gifts of leaping Lords and dancing ladies and partridges, of all things, in equally improbable pear trees? Well, it’s all over and done with for another year now. Two days early. To mark this occasion, I have just expelled the Christmas tree. Or what was left of it.
There was a time when I actually waited until the sixth of January, which is the last of the twelve days of Christmas, until I deposited the stripped and now bare Christmas tree in the garden rubbish pile. But no longer. Today, being only the tenth day of Christmas, marked for us the end of the annual Christmas madness of having a huge, floor to ceiling, six foot wide at the base ornament in our living room. It is gone and we have the lost half of our living space back.
I am a victim of my childhood. We never had a big Christmas tree. It looked like it if one stood outside our house. Through the window, looking into the living room of my childhood abode, one would see a Christmas tree that reached up to the ceiling. Decorated with lights and stuff that we kids had made in junior school classes, baubles and bells and other trappings of festivities long held and, partially, now forgotten. Inside the living room though, a different view of the tree was plain for all to see. Our huge Christmas tree was actually not that big. It stood in a pot on a table and was probably no more than three feet high. Although I loved the tree every year, I determined that when I had a house and it was Christmas, I would have a tree that went from the floor up. And I do. Every year. A huge tree. Or at least, the top of a huge tree that has been felled for the paper industry or whatever. They are usually about eight feet high. Every year I struggle to get that bloody great thing into my living room and the first thing to go up is the gold star that must sit at the top. There is no way I could reach it if the tree was upright, so it has to go on before I lift the tree into position.
My dear lady puts up with this aberration and indulges me every year. She buys good stuff to hang on it too. Decorations of real porcelain and gold. Silver and gold candle holders. Even the star at the top of the tree is a designer piece of golden wonder. No tat on my tree. It has all been lovingly returned to the original boxes this afternoon, ready for next time. Lord knows what it has cost us over the years. I really don’t care. It is only Christmas once a year and if you can’t have a good time with it, then what’s the point? Christmas is a time of extravagance, so why cut corners with the tree?
This year, the tree had lost most of it’s needles by Boxing day. It had already begun to look bare before we got round to eating the goose. The dogs loved the tree. It was great to hide behind as they played “ambush” on the living room floor. The constant shaking of the tree added to the pile of pine needles collecting under it. I’m sure they will miss it. So will I.
Tomorrow is the start of the working year, hence the early demise of our Christmas tree. The holidays are over and I am looking forward to summer. The winter solstice is behind us and the nights will soon be shorter, the days a little warmer and nature will once again produce the green wonder that is Springtime. The Christmas tree will be cut up for firewood for next winter and a new one will take its place next year. But that’s a long way off. Right now, sadly perhaps, it’s back to business.