It is most definitely that time of year once again, the lights are up in the square, Christmas songs are playing on the radio and although the snow has yet to appear in earnest the temperature has dived, the winter coat has come out and the fire is lit every evening. All the signs were there and with the afore mentioned December birthday over, I was free to start Christmas with the raising of the tree.
I love putting up the Christmas tree it's I always remember magically from childhood. It was always a family event, we'd layer up in our winter warmth, pile into the car and head out. We'd spend ages picking the perfect tree, my sister wanting the perfect shape, me wanting the biggest tree possible and always with a soft spot for slightly odd shaped ones! My mum wanting a smaller tree this year "we could put it on the table and it would look just as big" and my dad inspecting price labels of ones we picked out and quietly replacing them! Always visiting several places to make sure we were getting the absolute best tree. In my very early years I remember going to pick our tree from the ranks of the still growing and my dad would chop it down/dig it up to take home. No matter the size/shape/cost of the tree we ended up with one thing was sure, it was a real tree, we never had plastic. The smell and feel of a real Christmas tree is incomparable and a huge part of Christmas to me.
Arthur and I have disagreed over this, he likes real trees, but dislikes cleaning up after them and picking needles out of the sofa for the next 12 months. I still feel it's worth it, and for the first couple of years we lived together I won the argument, but when we moved into our new house last year that changed. The living room has wooden floor boards which have small gaps in some places and Arthur was adamant that we wouldn't be cleaning needles up from the cellar as well!
I was just as adamant about not having a plastic tree. I find the concept totally wrong. I love real Christmas trees, why would I want something that pretends to be it but fails so drastically, no smell, no feel of outdoors. No.
So we compromised and for last Christmas I made a Christmas tree. It does not pretend to be a tree. It looks nothing like a Christmas tree, in fact I think it looks a little like ski slopes.
The tree is made from fabric donut shapes and a ribbon covered branch from the Willow tree in the garden. The donuts are just tied to the centre pole which is what gives it its lopsided look! Not what I was going for, I was planning to fix them securely at given intervals, but I actually think I like it better this way. It also means it comes apart for easy storage, the donuts are all stuffed so go nice and small in vac pac bags and the tying on gives a different look each time you do it. Here is the tree last year in slightly different situ.
So this is the tree I have put back up this year, I rather fear I have lost the Christmas tree battle for good, but I'm not giving up hope, I keep trying to grow my own from seed in the plan of having one in the garden if not in the house, but I fail miserably, they grow quickly until about 3cm high and then brown and die off, but I shall persevere!
Now the tree is up and this evening is carols by candlelight at chapel so I feel very festive. Compliments of the season to you all!