*aka Cleaning Up the Tree.
This was my magnificent christmas tree. I say magnificent. It was a tree.
This was my first ever christmas tree and consequently I was enormously pleased with it. Lacking in decorations I panic-bought a string of LED lights and a packet of red jingle bells in assorted sizes from TK Maxx in Lewisham (it’s the strangest TK Maxx in the world for reasons I’ll go into another time). No ribbons, so I was freaking out a bit, but a trip to ikea brought two strokes of good luck:
1) this ribbon – such a clever idea – pre looped ribbon for decorations. A lifesaver.
2) This rug – this was a cheat as Lovely One already had it, but we were stuck for what to put our tree on until he hit on the idea of putting it on the rug. Festive, forest and a tenner. Brilliant! It also had the added advantage of disguising needle-drop due to its green colour, meaning we only had to hoover round the edges of the rug towards Jan 6th.
The finishing touch (which I don’t have a great pic of, sadly) was a gorgeous gold glass tree topper that Lovely One’s Mama sent all the way from Oz. I’ll admit that did nearly make me sniffle a touch. But only nearly *cries sentimentally*.
However, twelfth night was a massacre. I’d noticed that the tree was shedding at an alarming rate. Every time I brushed past it there would be a rustle and an ominous bristling sound as needles rained out of the branches.
Moving it proved… messy.
Verily it was a carpet of green. Nuts. It took an hour to hoover emptying my little vax about three times. Apparently my neighbours wait until the car park is empty out back and chuck their christmas tree off the roof garden rather than drag it downstairs. This also would have been a good option had I known about it. But it’s an inelegant solution, requiring me to befriend my neighbours to the extent that they allow me to drag a tree raining needles through their house and into their garden (they are EXTREMELY NICE and I’m terribly persuasive when I want to be but even I’m not that charming). I, being in the odd flat with no lookout to the back, have no such luxury.
So, looking to next year to avoid a repeat, I will do the following:
1. Buy a proper tree. Panic buying a random tree from a man outside a pound shop in a run-down shopping centre is a recipe for trouble. Most things sold by odd men outside pound shops in shopping centres are not things that are good for you. Lesson learned. Get a fancy spruce which is bred not to drop needles and buy a proper holder which you can water your poor tree with. Which leads me to…
2. Apparently I’m meant to water the christmas tree. Who knew? Oh…apparently Gardener’s World did. And the whole wide world. FAIL.
3. Finally, a handy tippity-top tip from Good Housekeeping. Put down a sheet when taking off the decorations, then use it to wrap the tree when taking it downstairs. It’s so SIMPLE.
Obviously this would have been way more useful before I decided to rambo it and just go hell for leather. But the hour’s cleaning the communal stairs concentrated my mind on getting it right next year.
Happy tree demolition, people.