Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree,
You know not how you’ve aged me.
As a child I always loved putting up the Christmas Tree. We had one of those fake, glittery ones popular in the 70s and a beautiful collection of colourful, sparkly ornaments built up over a number of years. Mam would put up the lights, ensuring they were perfectly symmetrical with one light at the top to reflect off the star. My sister and I would then add the decorations. When it was finally complete we would enjoy our first slice of Christmas cake and perhaps our first movie of the season.
This year is our first Christmas in our new house. We had built up a small collection of decorations back in Ireland but haven’t had a chance to bring them over yet, so we were starting from scratch. Our employers in Denmark generously gifted us a beautiful tree when we were leaving so all I needed was a few lights and baubles. I decided on a red and silver theme to keep things simple and co-ordinate with items already in the house.
Lights and baubles. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it. It turned out to be far from straightforward. We were lucky to hit one of the major homeware stores on a day when they had 30% off all Christmas decorations. The lights were a little expensive, but with 30% off they seemed justifiable as I knew I’d have them for many years. I bought one box of silver baubles and one of red and home I went, excited to decorate my tree.
Alas, I discovered that the lights didn’t have a plug. They were designed to be extendable so you had to buy the plug separately. Damn. The next day I went back to the store only to find they’d sold out of the plugs completely. My only option was to buy a different set that came with their own plug. So much for my 30% saving. I bought a longer set (9 metres) as that was all they had available and was certain my tree would be just dripping with lights. Back at home, I carefully unravelled them and started to wrap them round the tree, starting at the top to ensure I had one for the star.
Half way down the tree I ran out of lights. What? Nine metres used over half a tree? And I still had the fat half of the tree to cover. I couldn’t face another round trip to town (it’s 30 km each way), so Arūnas rang his sister to see if she could pick up a set on her way home from work. I was certain they would again be sold out, but amazingly they did have one more identical set. Finally, three days after I’d started work on the tree, I got the lights finished. Adding the baubles was a breeze by comparison.
Despite a few new wrinkles on my face I really do love my tree. There’s something magical about all those twinkling lights on these cold, dark days. Christmas is finally here. Time for a slice of cake, methinks.