Warning: I may be admitting to a crime – watch this space.
In the Hill family and in the life of a female comedy writer this week it was time to turn our attentions to the matter of acquiring a Christmas tree, as we always do on my birthday. You see, it is an unwritten law that every year on the 6th December, I am presented with a huge, twinkling reminder that:
a) I am yet another year older and
b) even though there is a nineteen day gap, most people have difficulty differentiating between my day and Jesuses. (I’ve Googled and apparently, according to Yahoo Answers – so it MUST be true – this is Jesus x2).
Apart from the year where, as a single parent with very little money, I returned home from work to find the tree almost completely bare and kids with very red faces, hoovering furiously following an apparently ‘playful’ cushion fight which resulted in a sympathetic friend lending me a synthetic one, we have had a real tree whenever possible. I love the smell of fresh, Christmassy pine in the house and real trees are generally cheaper. Plus – before any eco warriors message me – the local farm does plant another in it’s place.
The wonderful thing for me in this year of skillfully remaining jobless, is that the local forest is right next door. So, armed with two shivering children (I made them do it), a bottle of Blossom Hill, a neighbourly Christmas card and wearing holey jeans for maximum, ‘oh my goodness you must come in from the cold and while you’re here, take a tree with our compliments’ effect, we plodded next door to do some begging. OK, this is where I admit that we also had an hour long family conference the night before, planning a midnight raid and deciding against it as we are honest, decent folks afterall. Rewrite: …planning a midnight raid but deciding against it as the snow trail from their field to our house would give us away.
My lovely neighbour gifted us said tree, whilst making one vital mistake. He said:
“Climb the fence whenever you like and take your pick.”
And we needed a pick. Plus an axe. And bandages. Because of my fantastic sense of scale, my poor hubbie spent half an hour hacking at ‘oh please, I’ve always wanted a big tree’ and we ended up dragging a monster through the field, over the fence and it took everyone and the cat leaning into it to get it inside. Like a scene from James and the Giant Peach, we squeezed it through the door; minus a few branches… or seven.
Half and hour of sweeping, mopping, wiping down the paintwork and chiseling away to get its montrous trunk in the tiny stand (which bent with the pressure) later, she was up; although we may now need a new carpet and my husband taught us all some very new words in the process. I’m told one acre of Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. We now have enough to keep seven of us and three cats breathing easier through to New Year.
We have less furniture, and only two of us can be in the living room at a time, but it’s officially Christmas!!! 🙂