On the fifth day of Christmas....
My true love gave to me a Christmas tree!
Well, actually, it was about 13 years ago and I bought it myself.
The first year we were married I got a rooted tree. The idea was that we would use it, plant it out and re-pot it each year until it grew too big to bring in. I think it lasted just two weeks. There is a reason why my favourite plants are all found in the desert.
And the pine needles were everywhere! I hoovered everyday and still they kept on coming... six months later they were still in the carpet and when we finally moved house 10 years after that we moved the bookcase to find.... dessicated pine needles. No more real trees for me.
The following year I trogged off to B&Q and invested less than £100 in the biggest & best tree I could at that time afford. It's about 6 foot, has a spread of 3 1/2 foot and is now looking a little battered after 13 years use, but it works as a tree and I like the fact that it is beginning to earn its green credentials as a tree that doesn't contribute to landfill, will probably never be completely chucked out (being a pack-rat does wonders for your greenie points) and doesn't require tracts of land to be laid bare every year. And, yes, I know it doesn't smell real, or that there is nothing nicer than a real tree and it isn't truly the greenest option, but it is right for us at this point in our life and that is, after all, what life is about; making an informed decision and choosing the best option for oneself rather than the 'Best' because everyone else does it, or the magazines promote it or your family says so. No time of year should be more individual than Christmas and no time of the year suffers most from homogenisation than Christmas. God bless those of you with green fingers and patience; I shall enjoy the smell of fresh chopped pine in your house and the smell of cinnamon and orange in mine.