Feeling jolly ...’tis the season?!
As I sit staring at the large Christmas tree adorning our lounge room, I find myself thinking back.
‘The tree smells so wonderful, it fills the room. Kind of green and earthy. ’ A good friend said last year.
‘It reminds me of my childhood in England, all we need is a flurry of snow,’ said another.
‘In my lounge room?’ I teased . ‘You’ve had too much champagne, go home!’
I knew what they meant of course, a real tree feels authentic. Alive some might say. Whilst touching a branch might feel a little prickly it gives up its sweet pine smell to the palm of your hand. The irregularity of its shape and the challenges presented when decorating may cause some hilarious moments and happy family times, not to mention the odd frustration.
’No, the star goes on the top of the tree, darling.’ Memories abound of words spoken to a tired four year old, desperate to pin the star to the front of her pyjamas!
Then, along came the kittens!
Two kittens from the Rescue Centre joined our family last year just after my beautiful, freshly cut, six foot tall Christmas tree arrived. Having lived most of their short, eight-week life in a cage the run of our house must have been a delight. Having a huge, real tree to climb, an even greater pleasure!
Baubles flew everywhere, tinsel was commandeered and dragged around between tiny kitten teeth and I lost count of the times we heard the plaintiff cry from one whom had climbed to the top but could not work out how to get down. Yet another rescue mission began.
Two days later my daughter (owner of the kittens) read that the ingestion of pine needles can be fatal in cats.
‘Do you think they have eaten some?’ She asked, eyes wide.
Watching them race around the tree like cats on amphetamines, I found it hard to believe they had -but we could not take that chance. That afternoon our real tree was dispatched and its plastic replacement purchased.
Trying to summons enthusiasm, my husband waxed lyrical about its uniformity – both in colour and shape. He spoke of its ease of access, a short walk to the garage and there it was, neatly packaged in a large white box. What decent tree lives in a box?
No more hefting a spiky tree onto the roof of the car. No more lugging it inside. Better still it was great for the environment. My eyes glazed over and I wondered when my quintessentially, meat eating, beer-drinking, very traditional Aussie husband had become a greenie! The truth is he hadn’t! The math added up and he decided that within X years the horrible plastic tree had paid for itself as opposed to buying a fresh tree annually.
You may wonder what all of this has to do with writing – the answer is ...not much!
It did occur to me that we must be very genuine in writing though, write what we believe in. Write from the heart, be authentic, metaphorically speaking, wave your arms around like a real tree in the wind. Be very real.
Are you feeling jolly now? Tis the season after all!
The kittens survived and yes, one year later I am still looking at a six foot tall, plastic tree and there are baubles bouncing off the tree at regular intervals and tinsel being terrorised.
On that note may I wish you all a wonderful Christmas wherever you are irrespective of your tree choice ...this blog is written tongue-in-cheek of course!
Much love to you all and here’s to a healthy, peaceful and safe 2017.