Paused for thought

Paused for thought

Saturday, 5 December 2015

O Christmas Tree!

Like many families throughout the country we are eyeing our box of decorations and marking time in our diary to brighten our dining room with the presence of our Christmas tree.

Many people think that, in Britain at least, Christmas trees were introduced after Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband) brought one to Windsor in 1841. It was in fact at least 10 years earlier that they were first recorded in the country and the idea has been around for centuries, although decorated branches had been a more common sight.

Our Christmas tree is an important feature of the season. I bought it in 2005 for £13 in an ADSA store in Wiltshire. It travelled home in the passenger seat of my Renault Clio and took pride of place in the rented home I shared with my then fiancĂ© for our first Christmas. It was a merry Christmas, we were joined by my eldest sister, my mother, and my grandmother. It was to be my grandmother’s final Christmas although we did not know it at the time. When I look back I smile at the memories that I have, and that our little tree was a part of them.

When we moved house in 2006, we hired a van and after my piano, the next most delicate cargo was our tree. It travelled in its pot, strapped into the van and surrounded by quilts and bedding. Upon arrival it was carefully lifted into our garden where it has now resided for nine years, yo-yoing in and out of our house for around 24 days of glory each year.

Since 2006 our home and our family has gone through many changes, but every Christmas, like a faithful friend, our tree comes in. First it was garnished with sparkly glass ornaments among others, then as babies but perhaps more importantly toddlers entered its territory those were replaced with solid wooden and soft toy decorations. In the early days of this year, when we were ferrying the tree back into the garden, our boys had a request, to leave lights on it. So it was that it became furnished with solar powered fairy lights that have stayed on it all year, and rather than referring to our tree our sons have been talking about our Christmas tree throughout the year too. I am sure some people think we are quite mad!

So it is that I look forward to bringing it in again and spending time choosing which ornaments to brighten its boughs this year. As the song goes, no one spreads cheer so well.

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