The kids are now 8 and 6 and have always been guided in the need for a real tree at Christmas by me. Now there is a mole in the camp and they are *whispers* demanding an artificial one.
I wouldn’t need much excuse to cancel Christmas being a bit of bah humbug anyway, but the only thing I do look forward to is fisticuffs in the garden centre 48 hours before the event over the last real tree. Then I especially like all the difficulty in transporting the 6 foot fir home and I relish the festive moaning about the pine needles dropped in the car and in the house.
This morning the children (who had clearly been counter-briefed at some point this week) made the following accusations about a real tree:
There is no room (there is loads)
They would not be able to feed the fish without spiking their bums (they don’t feed the fish I do and I am hard)
The dog might pee on it (well he might)
It would drop needles everywhere (that’s the point)
It is always too big???
Apart from the fact it is way too early to think about Christmas, or trees or suchlike I am clearly going to have to consider my position. Added to the rearguard action from the kids, I heard a programme on the radio this week that suggested that many of the real trees we have at Christmas are propagated from cones collected in Georgia where people are working 60ft up in trees, with no safety equipment and for little pay. Now I am going to have to think about that issue too.
Last year I bought a modestly sized real tree with roots and put it back out in the garden on the Epiphany (another source of dispute) for the dog to pee on. Someone, during the course of the year, decided it was proper dead (it was not) and cut it up and burned it, presumably to make double sure I couldn’t drag it back in this year. If that hadn’t have happened I wouldn’t be here now writing this rubbish and wrestling with my conscience about Georgian fir cone pickers.
Damn and blast bloody Christmas.