And then there's the tree. No plastic needles have ever been allowed to cross the threshold of the Accidental Homestead. Oh no. Living trees all the way for us. And not the kind of living tree that was living until we picked it out from the tree farm, had it chopped down and borne home. No, the kind of living tree that lives all year round (for many, many years) out on the terrace. Each year it is manoeuvered in, complete with the enormous pot in which it resides, to shed its very real needles all over the carpet. The cat goes nuts at this point as she realises that its Christmas, and that there will be lots of people to flirt with, lots of food to steal, ribbons to chase and wrapping paper to nest in, and TREES INSIDE!
|This is the cat looking excited about being wrapped with a ribbon - she really is. You just can't quite tell because of her permanently stern face.|
First however we have to decide on which lights to use, a process which usually goes like this:
'Oh God, the Christmas tree lights. We've still not got any new ones.'
'So it's the same options as last year. Either 40 white ones that don't reach the bottom of the tree or 80 purple ones. No, not those coloured ones; they're not long enough.'
'Well, why do we still have them then?'
'I suppose we could take the plastic snowflakes off the outdoor ones. Then pretend they're just regular white ones.'
'Why have we never thought of that before? I hate the snowflakes. Why do we even have them?'
'We'll buy some more next year.' (Spoiler alert: we won't. This same conversation will happen until the end of time...)
So the tree is strung with lights, hung with baubles, and then the debate begins about who sits on top of it. The main contenders are an ancient shiny angel without a face, a pheasant made of feathers and King Charles II (because, you know, he famously hid in a tree, and nothing says 'festive' like an old persecuted monarch/hilarious historical joke). Yes, we Accidentals make our own rules at Christmas time. Which is why this year, everyone won. Except for poor old Charles. Who had to hide lower down the tree, because the Parliamentarians would totally have found him if he'd been rocking out on the upper branches with an enormous pheasant and a foil angel. Obviously.