Hayley Matthews: I’d love to branch out this year and rent my Christmas tree

Christmas trees turfed out for disposal are a sorry sight. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Christmas trees turfed out for disposal are a sorry sight. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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I’ve left it late this year. Not the Christmas shopping because I’ve done none of that yet. No, I’m talking about the Christmas tree.

Picture the scene: three mental cats that chase, rip and jump on most things that show even a hint of movement. Now, this perfectly normal feline behaviour is acceptable the majority of the year, except for the time of year when EVERYTHING in our homes either shines, dangles or flashes. Yes the wonderful time that is Christmas time.

The fear of cladding a tree in tinsel, swinging baubles and shiny lights that shout “look at me!” have left me dubious about the possibility of having a Christmas tree that stays erect and intact. But the cats can’t take the entire blame for my tardiness and lack of baubles in our home. It’s mainly because I don’t want to buy one, I want to rent one – yes rent! I want to have a tree that goes back in the ground (where it’s meant to be) so I feel like a better human, keeping my destruction on the planet to a minimum.

The ethical Christmas tree situation is one that’s been on my mind since reading about a business down south that rents Christmas trees to be replanted once the main event is over and the big man in the red and white suit has done his job. What a great idea!

I’m mainly excited about this because we have enough plastic on the planet so why on Earth would we want to encourage the production of more plastic by purchasing a fake tree. For me, there’s also something really unjustifiable about taking a tree out the ground to clad in lights for a few weeks only to be turfed out on to the pavement, just in the name of Christmas. Since being a little girl in bunches I remember feeling sad over the sight of all the bare Christmas trees scattering the pavements of Portobello in January.

I’m not all bah humbug, I just desperately don’t want to use a fake plastic tree. The closest I’ll get to a fake plastic tree this year is listening to Radiohead (that song is one of my favourites) but I’m really struggling to find a Christmas tree to rent locally. Maybe it just isn’t that hip here yet?

I’d even thought about buying one and then planting it out the back myself but I know that won’t work and I can’t face the thought of chucking a tree out on to the pavement. The sorry sight of a naked Christmas tree lying in the gutter surrounded by faded dry needles leaves me so sad, I just can’t do it. Call me a sensitive hippy but it just feeds the disposable way of life that we’re used to as consumers and it’s ruining our planet.

So despite having three highly strung cats, I’m determined to make our home look festive but I don’t think I’ll find my green rental tree this year. I’m possibly going to have to settle for cladding the coat stand in lights and hope that Santa delivers his goods regardless of the absence of a tree.

I have tried, believe me, but I still can’t find an eco-friendly Christmas tree rental close by. If I’m missing something please, I beg of you let me know. I’m desperate to rent one before I take to chucking some lights and tinsel on the massive conifer out the back.