The opening salvo of Christmas 2017 has been fired. The poinsettia has been purchased. It will grace the living room all festive season, and then, around about March, I’ll remember it’s there when the last leaf falls off one evening and gives me a wee fright.
Our family Christmas will officially land on Sunday, when the tree is crammed into the old Rover and brought home in triumph. We like the real thing.
Well, the cats do at any rate, since they assume it’s a giant scratching post and climbing tower.
When he was a younger, fitter laddie, our Burmese cat, Sully, used to sit in the lower branches and fancy himself to be lurking like a tiger.
He thought we couldn’t see him. He’s golden brown against a green background. He blended in about as well as Gordon Brown in Santa’s grotto.
One Christmas, Santa had delivered a train set for our son. We set it up under the tree for a Christmas morning surprise. What I should say is that the Yorkshire husband set it up so he could play with it as it wound round around the base of the lonesome pine.
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Come the dawn and rail services were running smoothly around the presents and the tree, until Sully burst from his festive hiding place and carried off the Flying Scotsman in his jaws. He looked like Godzilla taking on the 10.15 to Bathgate.
Our decorations will soon be brought down from the attic. I was startled to hear a young woman from London explain how her tree was delivered pre-decorated to her chosen Christmas theme, and then removed in January, baubles and all.
What madness have our English cousins succumbed to?
Who colour themes Christmas? And who does not carefully put all the baubles away, regardless of theme or colour to be used the next year?
And yes, you have to use all the baubles. Even the ones that are a bit bashed, because it’s the first bauble one of the kids pulled off the tree when they were little and they dropped it.
As long as you hang it up the right way, no one can see the dunt at the back.
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And you can’t co-ordinate tinsel. There is nothing subtle about tinsel. It’s meant to clash. Colour-coding tinsel is like trying to tone down a 1980s drag queen tribute to Dolly Parton.
Big, bold and colourful, that’s what tinsel is.
Ready-decorated tree, indeed. There won’t even be a cat in it.