Saturday, January 14, 2017

Farewell, quirky Christmas tree

If you’re in Germany and like to do things the traditional way, you put your Christmas decorations up on Christmas Eve and don’t take them down until after Twelfth Night. If you’re in a rural area where local volunteers provide a service to pick up and dispose of spent Christmas trees and they announce they’re coming round on 14th January, you wait until then to strip your tree and dump it outside. Well, normally, you’d have done that on 13th, unless the tail end of Storm Egon threatens to blow it into the path of unsuspecting cars.

Which explains why, if you’d been spying on me at breakfast this morning, you’d have seen me suddenly point excitedly out of the window, leap out of my seat and start wrestling with the tree.

The tree, by the way, was a rescue tree. In the same way that if we’d got our cats from a shelter we’d have come home with a one-eyed tom and a kitten with a limp, my wife took pity on this hard-luck case:

Please give this tree a home.
Yes, we loved our special tree, and we don’t care what anyone says: it was a delight to have around and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Of course, we would have loved it more if it hadn’t dripped resin all over the floor, but that’s one reason we don’t have carpets.

Of course, even though we had already stripped the tree, it was still not the easiest thing in the world to get it outside. When you buy a tree, they have a special machine to bundle it up into some netting so it will fit through any door. We don’t have one of those machines lying around in our living room, so I had to try to squeeze it through the patio door, as my wife held it open and gave me useful pieces of advice like, “Take a run-up!” All of this before I had quite finished my first coffee.

I made it in time and returned to find the floor green with the needles that had been shaved off the tree during its passage through the door.

So, farewell, Christmas tree; you were a part of our lives for three weeks, and now you have gone to that great forest in the sky. We shall miss you, and will always remember the... the stickiness you brought to our tiles.

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