Tuesday December 19, 2006
I don’t think our much-travelled artificial Christmas tree is going to last beyond its present incarnation. It comes as a pole, you see, and a collection of branches all of which have individually to be hung from it, working from the bottom to the top. The branches are clad in smaller twiglets covered with with conifer needles and decorated with cones, all carefully arranged in descending size order. The whole, a masterpiece of metal and plastic design, creates a convincing illusion that you have a real tree in your living room, all ready to be decorated with lights, tinsel, and baubles of all kinds.
At least, that’s the theory.
Being fair, it hasn’t changed in any way since we bought it, perhaps eight or nine years back. If we’d kept the original box it’d all be very close to exactly as it was from the start.
No, what has changed over the years is Graham’s patience, which has worn to be dangerously thin with the fiddly darn thing.
“Let’s dump this one and buy something less like a Chinese puzzle box,” I urged as he pulled the dratted thing out of its big plastic bag one more time.
“Can’t do that,” he said. “Not ecological. We’ll have to struggle on until we’ve had it for ten years.”
“We could pretend. We’ve had it for nearly ten years.”
“No we couldn’t. See how we feel when we take it down this time. But we really ought to use it one more time after this.”
“That’s silly. Don’t know why you torture yourself like this every year. There’s nothing ecological about Christmas anyway.”
“You may be right. Just pour me a glass of wine so’s I can gear myself up to this job.”
The first glass of wine didn’t help much, for the air was still very blue as the branches crept up the stump. By the end of the second glass the blue was fading, and I swear that by the end of the third he was mumbling Christmas carols to himself and smiling away. And he hates Christmas carols.
Anyway. The worst part of the job—erecting the darn thing and getting it straight—got done before we started on the giggle stage and when I suggested the actual dressing of the tree could wait until tomorrow, he didn’t argue. I reckon the wine treatment worked.
It begins with a stump
Which develops a skirt
And then a bodice