Yes, I know it’s coming up to Christmas, even if the storm whatever it’s called that’s howling outside seems to think it’s October or November!
My wife insisted that it’s time for a real Christmas tree to go up in the Living Room. I agree, though it’s a tough ask to expect a Christmas tree to last all December, and a bit of January without shedding all its needles just when it’s supposed to look at it best. I’m a bit of a grouch, aren’t I?
Once the tree’s up, then the fun starts. Dressing a Tree wasn’t part of my training as a child, I don’t think. Maybe I would do bits of that job with/for my parents, but certainly not plan or design anything.
I went into Science at secondary school, rather than Arts, so I just don’t know what looks good on a tree, and what doesn’t – or most importantly why. Getting the tree standing straight is a major ask – dressing it attractively is a different issue entirely.
I recall a couple of years ago (before Covid) grand-daughter Lucy, on seeing my efforts with our christmas tree, removed all the tinselly strings that I had loaded the tree with and replaced them in a beautiful horizontal manner that made the tree look professional. I was really grateful, and overawed!
A significant part of the attractiveness of a tree involves the lights. These days they are apparently foolproof. In my day if one light failed, none of them worked (though I did have to throw away one ancient set of lights this year that I had stored from a previous Christmas, and that now didn’t work) That’s a very modern approach by me – though not very planet-saving.
One thing I was taught by my father, and significantly failed to learn, was that to do a task well, one has to do the preparation/foundation stuff carefully. With our many sets of lights, I’m afraid that I stuffed them into a box, as they came off last year’s tree – not exactly ‘organised’.
As the photo below shows, this does mean that next year (i.e. this one) the start point of the new arrangement involves a preparatory task that I should have done last year – getting the lights into a linear order. There seemed to be a few masses of wires clumped together rather like those virus clumps of branches and leaves that you see on diseased trees.
I adopted a strategy, well several strategies in sequence after each one failed, to tease out the lines of lights. It took a while, and several times I thought that there might not be a solution. I managed to make some of the tangles smaller, and even got the odd one to disappear entirely.
Falling back on my scientific training I tried to recall String Theory, which I’m sure would have helped if I put the effort in to try to understand it. Eventually, Yorkshire grit and determination, supported by the incredible loss of face I’d experience if I failed, I got it sorted – and then put the lights up (with no apparent plan)
What do you think? Not bad, Eh? Well at least it’s done.
Now all I’ve got to do is see if I can get some, or better, all, of the lights to stop flashing in the multitude of sequences at different frequencies – otherwise I’ll have to watch TV in another room – It’ll drive me mad…