Hayley Matthews: Please, Santa – bring back the trees council cut down

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I just love this time of year where everything starts ­smelling of gingerbread, Christmas music plays everywhere and there is an exciting build up to Christmas Day.

Our first born celebrates his birthday just a few days before Christmas so it’s a very special time of year for me. I always try and be organised but never quite manage to get all that Christmas shopping done in advance.

Tomorrow marks the start of December which leaves just over three weeks to the big day and I’ve absolutely no idea how it got here so soon!

I know the majority of us always seem surprised that December creeps up on us but this year it just seems to have sprung upon us like an excited puppy. I almost feel like we’ve gone from an amazing summer to a cold windy November with nothing in between.

Don’t ask why, but I’m always surprised when December gets here. I love hearing other ­people say how they feel it has just “crept up” as it leaves me feel like I’m not the only one that’s unorganised or shocked about how close Christmas is.

Even our six-year old hasn’t written his Santa list yet and I’ve asked him four times already! There’s part of me that thinks he knows fine well what he wants and is just keeping quiet to see if Santa really does have magical powers and is a mind reader.

The only thing that ‘Santa’ can be certain of is that some sort of Fortnite items will be mentioned on that list once it finally gets written. The only preparation done is a Fortnite supermarket sweep style dash round Primark, grabbing as many of their Fortnite T-shirts and hoodies as ­possible. Well, so he tells me. However, other than that nothing else has been prepared. We don’t even know what we’re doing on Christmas Day.

You know Christmas has finally arrived when you see the Dome clad in all its fancy decorations along with the illuminations of Princes Street. I love how it all gives the place an extra special feel. I suppose that for me, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we’ve all been to the Christmas ­Market although I have to admit that I’m reluctant to go this year. I expressed my disappointment some weeks ago after several trees were removed as part of landscaping works and an extension at the Scottish National ­Gallery. You’ll remember that this caused a lot of public anger and just because there are lots of shiny lights, doesn’t mean we’ve all forgotten about the unnecessary felling.

My disappointment has been ­further fuelled by the market stalls being installed on the cleared land for the Christmas market. It’s such a shame that money and greed have become more important to us than our city needing its greenery.

We did venture up the town recently to soak up some of the Christmas atmosphere but didn’t manage to get to the market, mainly because of the sheer volume of people and cars.

I’m not moaning about that, it’s lovely to see so many excited people head to the city to see the sights and enjoy what Edinburgh has to offer. I’d just feel slightly better about it if we didn’t have to be so destructive with nature to apparently clear the space for the busy stalls.

So Santa if you’re reading this, I’ve been a very good girl this year and I’d like the trees back please.