My Christmas tree is a sorry thing to behold, it really is. I’m staring at it now. It’s naked, and bent to one side with all the indignity of a groom on his stag do, leaning against a lamp-post with his tackle between his arse-cheeks. The decorations came down last week, with the promise that the tree would soon follow, but ‘soon’ is as vague as you want it to be, isn’t it.
I can’t even take the glory for Phase 1: De-rigging. Matt did it while I finished my dinner one night. I think he made the most of me being a painfully slow eater to take action. With a decisive flourish no less – whipping the shiny things off as quickly as Sid James would a cackling nurse’s bra, and laying them neatly in a box for next year. I stared at him while he did it, chewing like a cow on cud.
I was quietly affronted that it had taken him no time at all to completely undo the hard work I had put into scattering a load of cheap tat betwixt the rapidly desiccating branches of a prematurely felled fir, but I was also a bit aroused by his no-nonsense action so I forgave him.
I’d had every intention of doing it at some point anyway. I really had. Mainly because I had been reminded of my laxness when my sister had reminisced, aloud to everyone on Christmas day, how I had once taken my tree down in June. I was about to haughtily defend myself when I was visited by the flashback of throwing a shrivelled brown corpse from a second floor window (surprisingly tricky) on a blazing summer’s day and decided to keep my mouth shut. I knew then, as my sister laughed, as I pretended to laugh, as Matt stared at me with a big grin that just about covered his panic, that I would have to pull my socks up this year and aim for a February deconstruction, at the latest. For the sake of my relationship. For the sake of not defenestrating a fir and killing a skipping kid newly broken up for summer hols. Christmas shouldn’t kill kids when they’re not expecting it. I know that much at least.
Despite my good intentions, you understand why I felt a bit hurried. I felt like Matt was saying “Hey, weird girl. See the big tree that wouldn’t naturally be found in the corner of the room, still in the roasting tin you put it in because we didn’t have a fancy bucket? Well, one more day of it being there and it stops being cute and festive and just turns into a reminder that we’re rubbish.” I wasn’t ready. I am quite used to being rubbish.
On the whole though, I think it looks like we’ve found a nice collaborative system. Matt strips the tree and puts the box in the loft, and I murmur vaguely about the indeterminate time hence when I shall drag the corpse of the Christmas past down the hall and brazenly into the street, my furtive lobbing days proudly behind me. Maybe that will be our Christmas tradition. I suppose new ones get made all the time. My best friend decided whiskey macs and glazed hams on Christmas Eve are to be his new tradition, and why not. I suppose that’s part of the fun of being a grown-up – you get to make up traditions according to your own sense of fun.
Maybe mine could be finding different seasonal outfits for a tree that doesn’t want to leave.
Maybe Matt would find that fun.
Hang on, I think I’ve got a spring bonnet somewhere…