On Saturday we got the Christmas tree.
When I was a child we had an artificial Christmas tree which my parents had bought for their first Christmas together. Forty one years later they still have that tree though it has had to be repaired with tin foil a number of times. Nobody can say that they haven’t had value for it. I hated that tree and I vowed that, once I had a house of my own, I would always have a real tree.
The trip up to the shop to choose the tree was marred by herself insisting that she wanted to cycle up. The boys piled into the car and I walked up beside her muttering moodily that if she got tired of cycling uphill, I wasn’t going to carry the bike.
There was one Christmas tree left when we got to the shop. We took it. When we got it home and unwrapped it from its net, it turned out to boast particularly dense and luxuriant foliage around its midriff and none at all at its legs. We manhandled it into the appropriate space and it stuck out its fingers into all of the surrounding area, dislodging papers and poking books and small children, even as I write, it is hanging menacingly over my left shoulder.
The children were very excited and instantly began decorating without allowing time to stand the tree up straight, remove the overhanging branches or take off their coats. Mr. Waffle and I became a little tense and started barking at them to stand back. They got cross back.
I put on a CD of Christmas music but Daniel insisted that we took it off and put on “Peter and the Wolf” instead. Fine, fine, fine.
We chopped at the tree. The Princess screamed. Her father ordered her out to sit on the stairs and think about her sins. Her brothers, ever her loyal defenders, hurled themselves at the door yelling “my sister, my sister, let my sister in”. Mr. Waffle and the Princess departed to do the grocery shopping, the boys entertained themselves with a book and I finished off decorating the misshapen tree. I asked the boys to turn off the lights which they did with great glee and the three of us spent 2.5 seconds looking at the lights before the boys whizzed back round the room and turned all the lights on again.