Sunday, 16 December 2007

Putting up the Christmas tree

Now I've started with the Christmas preparation, I may as well complete it. Today, in anticipation of Dig returning for some Christmas cheer, Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have been putting up the Christmas tree.

This involves the following.

First, great excitement. There is much squealing and running about making a noise. Mummy Grit shouts at the top of her voice 'Be Quiet! You will wake the neighbours!' No-one hears, apart from, possibly, the neighbours, because mummy Grit is back on her hands and knees in the eaves, rummaging about looking for the box containing the plastic tree that she got from Help the Aged for a fiver three years ago.

Four years ago mummy Grit declared that because we are posh we never have an artificial tree because they are so gutter. Then Shark, Squirrel and Tiger got at her posh tree with its fragrant little pine needles and decorated it with bits of string, sellotape, a few videos and the contents of the lego box. From that point there became Children's Tree and Mummy Tree. Children's Tree is plastic and goes in the children's room. Here it is decorated by them with shuttlecocks and bits of paper. Mummy Tree is real and goes in the front room and looks posh and sophisticated with gold baubles. If only I can be bothered.

When the Christmas tree from Help the Aged comes out the eaves I declare it is a project in team building. I say I wonder if everyone can help co-operate to put up the tree this year while I have a cup of coffee with rum in it to celebrate the start of Christmas season. Squirrel immediately legs it and pretends to be making a fairy out of odd socks.

Five minutes later I pack the tree back in its box because Tiger has got a branch of it and is chasing a screaming Shark around the room threatening to wallop her across the head. Getting cross and shouty and wrestling the Christmas branch from a screaming Tiger seems to have destroyed the Christmas atmosphere so I cook pasta for lunch and lead a discussion on team building for strategies in putting up Christmas trees.

Shark and Tiger decide that taking turns to stick in three branches each is a good idea, and this is what they do. When the tree is finally up, Squirrel abandons the sock fairy to join Shark and Tiger. Then everyone has a fight about territory before they start to play birds in nests. This means choosing one branch each to decorate and weighing it down with eggs, which are baubles, while leaving the rest of the tree blank, which are the borderlands in the event of further territorial dispute.

Mummy Grit then comes along and says how lovely it all is and how she'd like to add some fairy lights. In doing this she knocks off some of the baubles and stands on them by accident, causing much crying because she has killed the baby birds. Mummy Grit has a solution for this. She presents one chocolate biscuit each to Squirrel, Tiger and Shark to shut them up and in recognition of their great achievement. Of course there are three for the leader by virtue of being good enough to give the children a plastic Christmas tree all of their own to use as a team building exercise in the first place.

And so we end the day with one Christmas tree, two fights and three chocolate biscuits. I am declaring today an achievement.

1 comment:

Sally said...

on the 16th day of Christmas Mummy Grit enjoyed with us ... three chocolate biscuits, two big fights and a plastic Christmas tree!