'Tis the season to be merry - but in our house we are putting up the Christmas decorations which means just a little bit of marital trouble and strife.
Mr B is
not too bothered about the whole Christmas decoration lark. He likes the minimalist approach. Me? I like the whole caboodle. If it were left to me, we'd have paper chains festooning every bit of ceiling space, a Christmas tree so tall that you can't see the
top properly, and a life-size silver reindeer with flash on-and-off lights outside on the drive to welcome visitors and passers-by alike. They would know, just from the quickest of glances, that here is a house where Christmas is Celebrated in Style.
Over the years we have reached a Christmas Compromise which means I still get to decorate the house - but tastefully. On no account must there be any nasty drawing pins or bits of Blu-Tack scarring our pristine
paintwork. No longer may I hang great lines of Christmas cards on strings of colourful wool from wall to wall. Tasteful, that's the name of the game.
It's worked reasonably well in that we have bought,
over the last few years, some decidedly beautiful decorations with which we are both well content. They are minimalist enough to satisfy Mr B but Christmassy enough to keep me happy. The garlands which hang over the windows do still require a practised
eye and steady hand to ensure that they are straight and even. Mr B, remember, used to be a printer so he can tell at a glance if something is even a fraction off centre. So here I am, balanced on the step-ladders, trying to ensure that each half of each garland
is equal. And here is Mr B, getting crosser and crosser with my inability to follow simple instructions. "Up a bit!" "Down a bit!" "No, not THAT much!" You probably get the picture...
But all this
is nothing - nothing! - compared with the Great Tree Debate. Mr B says that, as we are hardly going to be home at all over the festive season, there is little point in us having a whopping great Christmas tree. He suggests that I make do with the
top half of our trusty artificial tree which will be "plenty big enough for just the two of us." As if the Christmas tree was a pizza or a chicken pie.
Well, I did try it out. I screwed
the top half of the tree into the base, spread out all the branches as far as they would go and even stood it on the sideboard to give it a little more height. Dear readers, it looks quite pitiful. It is an Apology for a Christmas Tree.
It simply Will Not Do.
It's not that I feel any need to keep up with the Joneses, honestly. Yes, it is true that several of my Facebook friends are posting photographs of their stunningly
beautiful trees, all sparkly lights and silver tinsel. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters even posted a hilarious video of her family decorating their enormous tree. The tree wasn't hilarious, you understand, the tree looked beautiful. But Hazel prancing
about in her teddybear onesie and her Dad in his reindeer headgear - it made me wish I was there, instead of fretting about my trifling apology for a Christmas tree.
So I have decided! Our tree
is going up in all its five foot glory. I tell myself that I need every one of its branches for the dozens of ornaments I have accumulated over the years. What really made up my mind was finding the cardboard reindeer which my oldest grandson made
me, ever so many years ago, to go on the top of the tree. Far too big for the Pint-sized Tree. It needs a proper-sized tree. It shall have one, whatever Mr B has to say about it.
Which is when
I realise that we no longer have any lights for the tree because they all gave up the ghost last Christmas. It's too late to go to the shops now. I shall have to wait till tomorrow to set about Operation Christmas Tree. Meanwhile the Pint-sized Tree is
still sitting on the sideboard, teasing me with its sheer inadequacy.
Keep calm. Christmas is Coming!