Disclaimer: this blog post has very little/nothing to do with fashion and/or beauty.
Christmas is literally round the corner now and I am, without a doubt, feeling festive. On the 1st of December I watched enviously as my friends put up there lovely Christmas tree and even as I looked at the over the top trees covered in tinsel with a million multi coloured lights on them, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness.
You see, this year is our first year in our very first home together and so we decided we were going to plump for a real tree. The only problem with this being that my fiancé works every weekend and so picking our tree from a garden centre or weekend seller was going to be impossible.
At first my fiancé wasn’t keen on getting a real tree. “There’ll be needles everywhere,” he moaned, “I’m not cleaning them up.” But as time went on I slowly whittled him down and, in exactly the same way as how I managed to get my Mini, I annoyed him until he caved in and gave me my own way.
So, on Monday 2nd of December we traipsed to Tesco, where my mum had seen real trees on sale. Alas, the only ones there were small ones, not the eight footer I had in mind (although where I imagined it would fit in our two bed apartment I’m not so sure). So we continued our search.
Next it was on to Asda and even UK Discount Warehouse where I shuddered at the fake snow and gaudy looking decorations. Finally, we made it to Big Tesco where, oh joy of joys, were Christmas trees aplenty. We picked a full looking Norwegian pine and were well on our way until something stopped us dead in our tracks: what were we going to put the tree in?
We searched high and low but a tree stand eluded us. Eventually we were so desperate, we did something we almost never do – we asked one of the shelve stackers for help. After a whole lot of umming and ahhing and a bit of asking a colleague, we deduced between us that there were no stands in the whole of the shop. And so my lovely Christmas tree had to go back on the rack.
The next day my fiancé visited Wilkinson and Poundland on his lunch hour before driving to B&Q after work – but there appeared to be a national shortage of stands.
Social engagements kept us from doing any more tree stand hunting that week, but when Sunday rolled around I got straight back on it.
There was a Christmas market in town which I went through with a fine tooth comb before realising that nothing like a tree stand had ever graced this market with its presence. Having spent a fiver on more decorations for a tree I did not yet have, my resolve was running low.
I trundled round town with my family where I finally found what I was looking for at the local Wilkinsons store. Yes, it was a tree stand, but it wasn’t what I had been envisaging. It was ugly, big and green, nothing like the black cast iron beauty that my family had as a child and I couldn’t bring myself to buy such a monstrosity to display in my house. Especially when, with funds running so low because of the wedding, there would be no presents to disguise it.
So I walked on, believing an alternative would come to me. I made it back to my parents’ house where my dad proceeded to search for their old tree stand in the garage. On discovering it could not be found, and not wanting to let his little girl down, he quickly set upon dismantling the outside table and presented me with the parasol holder. Now, I have to admit this looked way too thin for a tree, but, ever the optimist, I plastered a huge smile on my face and packed up the car to go home.
Monday rolled around again all too quickly and, after a gruelling day at work and then a quick spaghetti bolognese dinner, we rushed out to Big Tesco yet again – full of anticipation! We picked our tree and found some decorations and packed up the car ready to bring our purchases home and really get into the Christmas spirit.
On returning home, full of glee, we measured the tree’s trunk against the parasol holder. There would be no amount of whittling to make the tree fit in there. The parasol holder was at least four times thinner than the tree trunk. We leant the tree up against the wall (we were too scared to leave it outside as the area can be somewhat dodgy) and gave up for the night.
And that, dear readers, is why we currently have this as our Christmas tree.
And it’s also why I’m taking a trip to Wilkinson in my lunch hour. I just hope they have some stands left…