Yes it is that time again, time to drag out the decorations and flit with the festive finery.
On Friday I went down to the farm and we selected a nice slim tree in the field and cut it down just like they do in movies. The tree being of slim build obliged by fitting perfectly into the jeep. So far so good.
So good that I decide to nip into town while I am out and get some food shopping. Time in motion, multi tasking, sensible use of the day.
I get the shopping and return to the car. Something is different, not quite right. Hmmmm the entire car is soaking wet. Of course it did not occur to me that a frost covered tree would defrost and melt – all over the damn car.
So it is a soggy journey home, for me and my tree.
Back at chez moi I drag my dripping friend into the house and place him with care in the living room. Then ensues the half hour wrestle with the stupid stand to make him stand nice and straight and above all upright.
Memories flood back of the tree two years ago that flatly refused to stay upright and fell down three times. I am determined that this will not happen and spend ages underneith it getting covered in prickles and muttering about fake trees.
Tree upright, I then have the usual tussle with the tangled lights. Oh yes, every year I swear I will roll them carefully round cardboard to save on the tangles. Every year I toss them into the Christmas box with all the care and delicacy of the average part time postal worker.
Never mind, after a few false starts I get them untangled, working and on the tree. Success. I now leave everything for Idgy coming home from school so she can help with the fun part, the decorating.
My elf arrives and we spend a happy hour rooting through the Christmas box and pulling out memories with every ornament. A painted angel that Idgy made for me years ago, a glass tree we bought at my first Christmas fair, hand painted pieces from my friend Carey, gorgeous delights that I treat myself to every year from Sue at Holywell, old pieces from my childhood, and things I've made myself.
There is no rhyme nor reason to our tree, it is not of the trendy themed variety, it fits not a colour scheme. It is our Christmas tree, a muddle of colour, memories and lights, we love it.
Tree complete, admiration done, I head for the kitchen to rustle up some supper.
There is a sickening thump from the living room and a shriek from Idgy. I rush through to find my nearest and dearest flattened under a bristly heap of green and glitter.
I rush forward to grapple with the fallen tree, and parenting skills never high on my list of personal attributes I am ashamed to say that I am more worried about my vintage baubles than my eleven year old daughter impaled under the tree.
Then follows half an hour that I should be very ashamed of. I cannot get the bloody tree to stand up again. Idgy scrambles up and holds it in place while I shout and swear and use every profanity known to man (and a few new ones I invent along the way) and try to get it to go back into the little metal stand and let me ram it back into place.
Eventually the tree is secured and although it bears a slight list to starboard it is a beauty.
Of course it was worth all the effort, and Idgy's all over body piercings fade after a hot bath. I thank her profusely for breaking the fall of the tree, not one bauble broken, that really has to be above and beyond the call of duty for any Christmas Elf.