Christmas Tree Blues Part 2

If you read Christmas Tree Blues Part 1 you will know that a lot of misery can come when deciding between a false tree and a real one. But, even when the decision is made more problems await.

Lights.

A Christmas tree would be a poor thing without lights but they can also lead to much sadness. In fact, in our house the failure of Christmas tree lights has led to much weeping and wailing- not me I hasten to add. I have often watched my wife carefully place four sets of lights on the tree and then fidget and fiddle with them until they are spread perfectly. I have then also kept my fingers crossed as she goes for the switch to turn them on. Crossing my fingers didn't always work and a couple of sets would generally fail to light.

At this point, I always sit quietly while she goes through her spare lights box, but you won't be surprised when I tell you that none of the spare bulbs fit the lights that she has on the tree. The only possible way to fix the problem is to go to a shop and buy more sets of lights. It's a good job they are cheap because the same thing will happen next year.

"I don't know why they make them so fragile and keep changing the design,"my wife makes the same comment that she made the year before.

"Because if they lasted a long time and kept to the same design they wouldn't make lots of money," I replied again cynically.

Once the lights and decorations are on the tree you would think everything would be safe, but it isn't always so.

For some reason that still mystifies both me and my wife, she had finished decorating the tree one year and whilst standing back to admire it, the thing decided to keel over as if it had been shot. Nobody shouted 'timber' or anything, it just collapsed onto the floor like it had been polaxed. My wife spent another two hours rebuilding the thing and thankfully it managed to stay on its legs all through Christmas.

The worst thing to ever happen to my Christmas tree occured one lovely Christmas day just as my wife was about to serve up the turkey. This was my first wife, I hasten to add, which was just as well because if my father, the man who caused the calmity, had done it whilst I was married to my current wife she would have cut off his giblets and put them in the gravy.

The occurance happened a few years ago when I was still of a mind to visit my local pub to work up an appetite for my Chistmas dinner. My wife would be at home looking after my two sons and the cooking of the big bird, so all was well with my festive world.

On the day in question, I was accompianied to the pub by my father, who we had invited to share our Christmas meal. Anyway, it was his first Christmas without his wife, (and my mother) who had sadly died during November. To cut a long story short, my dad got very maudling and had a couple of pints more than his legs could carry.

Still all was not lost, I guided him back from the pub and when he got back into the warmth of our house he put on a cheery smile for my lads. In fact, he was suddenly so happy that he grabbed the football that he'd bought for my eldest son and showed him and his brother how Sir Stanley Matthews dribbled the ball when he played for Stoke.

The only problem was that although his head had sobered up a bit, his legs were still drunk and after he'd dribbled around the coffee table, he fell straight into the tree and broke it in half. I have never heard my sons laugh as much as they did on that day and my wife's face was a picture. He was so ensnared by the lights and festooned with baubles that it took five minutes to get him out of the tree which now looked like it had been in a chain saw massacre.

A few days ago I called in on my youngest son. He is now 34 years old and has a family of his own.

"Do you remember when you granddad fell into the Christmas tree?" I asked.

A wide smile crossed his face, "Of course I do," he said and gave me and his family a re-enactment of my father's footballing skills.

If anybody else has any Christmas tree stories I'd love to hear them.