Not much sign of a Credit Crunch Christmas up our Strausser.
I decided at the beginning of December to decorate two skeleton saplings that had sadly gone to tree heaven. A Contemporary Christmas this year, white and silver and fairy dust. Why spend £80 on a No Drop Nordmann Premium keep up with the Ponsonby- Joneses 12 foot Fir tree?
Especially if I could emulate the Avant Garde Matt White Twisted Twigs featured in Architectural House and Country Homes for Living… What could be easier than slopping on some left over apple white emulsion and fixing the petrified branches in matching pots. I tell you what could be easier, going out and buying an £80 No Drop Nordmann.
Nobody liked the branches idea. First I was accused of being tighter than a wetsuit on Weymouth Sands. Then my Tate- like sculptures were ridiculed and sent outside to sulk behind the shed. Then of course came the Bah Humbug and Grumpy Grinch slings and arrows, and ducking and diving I capitulated.
OK, fine, I was wrong, everyone else was right. Let’s go and buy The Tree.
Except, on December 21st £80 12ft Nordmann No Drops were scarcer than a bonus in a bank. Across the road, a man with the jolliest face and filthiest fingers giggles that he bought 600 No Drop trees on December 1st and sold the last ages long ago. But, come this way, he says, I might just be able to help.
Around the back of a corrugated barn were four spindly miniature pine trees, leaning against a mouldy fence. My two Christmas elves looked on disdainfully as I tried to bigup his leftovers.
Just to make matters worse, the box of last year’s lights refused to cooperate, and all the rest of the afternoon was spent shopping for just one box of white fairy lights.
So, I shall whisper this bit, can you get your breath, we have red lights on the dwarf conifer. The shame of it.
The tree’s in the hall,
Red lights chasing round;
Bought it from Kevin;
The branches are curled;
The needles will fall;
In Spring to be found;
God’s in his Heaven –
All’s right with the world!
So much pressure, so much to live up to.
Bombarded by brain washing waffle, the offspring bid for this and that which they don’t need and will never use. Unless I make my own almond paste and butter pastry I will fail to cut the mustard. This Sunday the papers oozed tripe along the lines of how to set my table – silver runners are in this year, how to wrap my gifts – brown paper is de rigueur, and the only way to deal with left overs – curry it. What I should wear on the Big Day, and what temperature I should serve my Burgundy is paramount.
There is no hope. Women in glass houses with red fairy lights are doomed. I now officially declare Christmas Day – Annual Duvet Day. I want to crawl in and put my head under the pillow until it is all over. Cromwell had a point, and Mince Pies are still banned. And I haven’t even thought about Goffman and Mead et al. They would be spinning in their snugs at my impression management. Sense of self reflected in how one copes with Christmas. Or not.