A Christmas Tree Story

Something very exciting happened here on Wednesday. It’s taken me a while to calm down enough to write about it and I’m still all giddy about it. You guys … we have A CHRISTMAS TREE! A real, live Christmas tree. This is the first tree we’ve had, the first time I have got out all my decorations with a view to using them. We’ve lived here for three years and this is our fourth Christmas in this house but the first one with a tree. If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know that this is a really big thing for me.

On Wednesday morning I decided: I AM going to decorate for Christmas and I am going to do it NOW. I took all of the things off the mantle piece and cleaned it. I got out my box of Christmas Things from the airing cupboard upstairs and stuck TTB behind his stairgate in his room and I sat on the landing and unpacked, choosing which things to use and which things could stay in the box because it’s been such a long time since I bought them that I don’t like them any more. I passed a few bells to my boy and he was happy to stand there jingling them and chattering away. I found a little jelly cat polar bear that plays a few Christmas tunes and passed that over to him too … oh WOW mummy it’s a BEAR! and it plays MUSIC when I squeeze his tummy!

I was still a bit sad because we had decided not to have a tree, and didn’t think there was anywhere to fit one in, particularly because of a certain curious toddler but I thought that we could at least have lots of holly and winter greenery on the mantle piece with some other decorations too. I wondered if perhaps the market stall would have very tiny Christmas trees in pots and maybe we could just have it on the mantle piece.

We chatted to the Flower Man but they didn’t have any teeny ones. He said he’d look out for a very small one for me when they went to buy more trees the next day, and to come back on Friday to see if they’d had any luck. After I’d finished talking to him, Andy said … “You know … if we did move a few things around we probably could make space to fit one of these little ones in …” and that was all of the convincing I needed! As for Tiny Tin Bird, Christmas trees are prickly so surely it’s self-deterring and he will just leave it be. Right?

We paid our money and I skipped all the way home, pushing the pushchair and carrying my bunch of holly. Andy carried the tree! I was SO EXCITED and I couldn’t believe that we actually bought one. It’s in a pot as well so we are going to try and grow it and use it again next year. We stood it in the garden because we had a lot of moving-things to do before it had an indoor home: the tree needed to stand in front of the Expedit but that’s where the table usually goes. We moved the table along to in front of the (not used) fireplace, but that’s where TTB’s toys and little chair go, along with an activity table that needs returning to it’s owners so we’ve moved those to in front of the sofa for now but they need a better home. Then we had to scrub the floor because it wasn’t very accessible when we last did the rest of the floor but it looked shocking in comparison, so we did that. All while TTB was having a nap. Confused? Yeah me too and it took a while to get it sorted! I’m getting there but I haven’t sat on my sofa in two days as it’s covered in everything I couldn’t find a good home for. BUT. It WILL get done! Never fear, things always get done, they may just take some time.

Now then, let’s talk about decorating. Growing up, my family always decorated the house for Christmas just when we broke up from school. We would put all the Christmas cards that we received around the walls on lines of thread and they looked like bunting. I remember that we always had so many cards! My dad taught at the school, and then when me and my siblings were there too we just received a huge amount and we used to be able to get two rows of cards around the walls of the living room, dining room AND the hallway.

But the tree was special, and we would only decorate it on Christmas Eve. Oh we used to beg and pester to do it sooner! “Just ONE decoration, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE! Or the lights! Can’t we just put the lights on? Pretty please? ” but of course, we were always made to wait until Christmas Eve and it was just THE most special thing when we did it. I’m sure there was the odd bit of bickering (there were four of us children after all) but the over-riding feeling is of pure joy and excitement when the box of decorations came down from the loft and we opened it up to be greeted with all our favourite ones. We’d wait, clutching the decorations that we simply HAD to put on the tree ourselves (and not let any pesky siblings get there first) for my mum to put the lights on the tree and then it was a decorating free for all. So good. And then to sit back and just look  at the tree and absorb every little bit of what that meant: the tree was decorated! That means it is Christmas Day TOMORROW! Oh and the smell of the tree … nothing compares to that scent.

This is what I can smell, right now, as I type this. The Christmas tree behind my chair, slightly warm under the lights and exuding the most glorious sharp pine scent. Mmmmmmmmm. We weren’t going to decorate it just yet, but we brought it inside because we have had a 70mph storm and it wouldn’t have survived in the yard. And then, well then we were just too excited to not put the lights on it.

Soon though, soon I will dig in to my own box of tree decorations and we will decorate our tree together. Our first tree. It’s so very special and I am full to the brim of happiness and excitement for Christmas this year. O Christmas Tree, you are so wonderful.

17 thoughts on “A Christmas Tree Story

  1. Sue says:

    That tree looks great already. I am sure it will look fabulous once you have added some decorations.

    My memory of my friend’s Xmas tree when her first born was just 19 months old was her telling me “that tree is coming down tomorrow (Xmas Day)” as her son did nothing but try and climb into it and try to wreck it. The tree was up for about 2 days. I hope that TTB is better behaved.

  2. claire coffey says:

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh, it does look pretty – I do love the lights in soft focus, so Christmassy! I am felling very in the season at the moment, very unusual for so early in December.. Enjoy your pretty little tree and just buy some shatterproof baubles for the lower branches! That’s what I did when my two were little xx

  3. Brenda says:

    So glad you have a tree heather! Ours is up already, it goes up the 1st of December . Enjoy, I look forward to seeing it fully decorated. Merry Christmas xxBrenda

  4. Anne Marie says:

    I don’t bother with Christmas tree but I used to when I my son was little. I wholeheartedly agree with your family traditions where the tree was put up on Christmas Eve, which is what happens in Germany. I liked that when I lived there and thought it was far nicer than all the commercialism we have over here with Christmas lasting from November almost.

    So you will be starting to make your own family traditions.

    Your market stall looks lovely with all the holly with berries. So does your little tree.

  5. One-oh-four says:

    Loving those little multicoloured lights – so pretty! I love the smell of real Christmas trees. Our (fake) tree is going up on Sunday, and I shall be reviewing the new lights we bought last year which I recall were a very icy white – not at all what I have in my minds-eye when I think of Christmas trees. I may buy more new lights – or I may buy all-new decorations in an icy theme to match……enjoy decorating yours!

  6. Sarah says:

    Dear Heather what a good post about the Christmas tree. I am off to buy mine this morning.
    We always put up ours on Christmas Eve when I was a child (my dad was always in charge
    of the decorating but he let us do the cards). We would do this whilst mum popped out for last minute things and have it all done on her return. I still put up mine on Christmas Eve.
    Mum and Dad gave me one of the decorations they had from the first tree they had. it will be
    63 years old this time round. Enjoy your tree!! xx

  7. I remember getting my first real tree when I was 17 and living alone in a bedsit. That was one special tree. I had no tv and so used to stare at it for hours. I loved the fresh pine smell. Oh I remember it as if it was yesterday. I totally get you. Have a blessed holiday sweetie. It’s been good catching up on your posts. Xx

  8. How lovely Heather! Everyone seems very Christmassy at the moment, I am feeling very seasonal too, tho we will leave our decorations for a while yet. enjoy your tree! xxx

  9. Clare says:

    So funny that you think there might have been bickering. I am one of three and in my head Christmas was only magical and full of laughter. Now I have my own three and I realise it was nothing of the sort. We put our decorations up yesterday and they all argued and fell out with each other and us!! I am full of confidence however that this will not be the memory they remember. It will be the joy of the lights, the sound of cheesy Christmas songs in the background and the memory of being together!!! Have a lovely Christmas!!

  10. Anna-Marie says:

    Hi Heather, So glad you decided to go with the tree!!! Love the idea of planting it for future Christmases!!! Have a wonderful week!!!

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