Wednesday, 18 November 2020

oh Christmas Tree

 


Oh dear
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York has been erected under beautiful blue winter skies and for some strange reason its a balding and somewhat raggedy affair.
Perhaps it’s a metaphor for 2020
Who knows .

I remember as a child having such a tree.
Bought as an afterthought from the greengrocer on Meliden Road, it was bald and patchy and ever so sad looking, but to my sister and I who bought it, it was an underdog who had to be made the best of.
Bottom branches were literally sellotaped into place. 
The gaps were filled with fairy lights and thick snakes of tinsel and if you squinted long enough the whole finished article looked cheerful enough
Like I said as long as you squinted.


Christmas trees mean different things to different people and we all have our own connections to them.
For me it’s Shelley Winters and the cast of The Poseidon Adventure climbing up that impossibly blue 18 foot monstrosity in my 1970s  childhood but this memory has since been superseded by traditions of Sunday trips to Calver in Derbyshire to pick up the tree for the Sheffield front room.....and  after that various incarnations of the Nutcracker tree, at the ballet
You know the one that grows like a beast when the toys are sleeping.

I haven’t had a tree for a couple of  years. 
I did buy one of those tiny ones that the supermarket sells last year but it was too small to be viable and I planted out into my new back garden. 
It’s still there , bright green and cheerful and still with its battery lights on it
Another metaphor for 2019 perhaps.

On night shifts all week

94 comments:

  1. In a couple of years your backyard tree will be lovely. We have "seriously downsized" our house, so there's no room for a proper big tree, and the smaller one we bought fell foul of the grandchildren... so now we use a tiny one, decorated with those little things people put on the stems of wineglasses so people know whose is whose. It is thoroughly unsatisfactory... trees are supposed to be large enough to stack presents under. What will you do this year - until your garden tree grows?
    Our most successful tradition involves having the children move the crib figures around the window ledges Christmas story. There's great excitement as Christmas eve approaches.

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    1. lol I am working Christmas Eve night
      And would have missed the carol concert in the church ( if there was one)
      With Christine bringing on the baby Jesus for the na5ivity

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  3. Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is more like Oh!!?
    Christmas tree??:(

    I know it will turn out to be beautiful after it is decorated and has its lights...unless someone lets Melania T loose on it, because we all know what she thinks about Christmas decorating.

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    Replies
    1. I can hear New Yorkers shouting
      “CALL THAT A TREE?”

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  4. When you are ready you'll get a tree again. I love to sit in a dark room with the lights on the tree and soak up it's magic. The magic is there if you let it be.

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    1. Yes , me too, and squint at the lights and watch them merge together

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  5. Jenny and I bought a small artificial Christmas tree many years ago and it's still going strong. And it doesn't shed needles everywhere.

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    1. The needles in the hoover thing seems a thing of the 1970s and 1980s .
      The needles are treated now

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    2. I dont know if you watch Vlogs on the internet John,but there is a Youtube Vlog called Mr.Carrington,London.He had a real tree delivered,they hoovered all the excess needles up and left it looking lovely.....then the ladybirds,who had nested in it started appearing in his living room...now I love ladybirds..but I dont think that I would want them appearing randomly on my furniture and body in December!.xx

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    3. I've just googled Mr Carrington Debi-he's a handsome young man isn't he!xx

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  6. It does look a poor specimen but I'm sure they'll tart it up well.

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  7. Among me and my four siblings it was always me who put up the tree, right up until we moved house, I then being 25. Never had to be asked, simply loving all that tinsel, lametta, shiny coloured balls and fairy lights. I always bought a BIG tree which had to be chopped shorter at the bottom so it would fit under the ceiling from standing n the floor - my decorating work, including crepe paper streamers of [usually] red, white and green hanging from the ceiling corners to the centre light all carried out whilst playing records of the 'Messiah' and Xmas carols. I was so very proud when it was finished and then pleaded with the family to come into the 'front room' to see. I wanted to soak up their praise, which did come, at least from my mum, though tended to be spurned by my three brothers. Nonetheless it was truly an enchanting, innocent time which I just loved.

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    1. Nicely Remembered Raymondo
      That moved me greatly x

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    2. Looking back I'm sure it was the then unacknowledged gay in me being entranced by all that sparkle and glitter.

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  8. We had a tree for 25 years, bought the year we got married. The tree grower sent us to dig one up, and when we took it back he said 'That was next year's crop!'. Stretching the roots out to measure it, he charged us a (then) exorbitant price, but we took it home and potted it up. It was a bit bald and patchy in the end, but it was 'our' tree, so know just what you mean. This year it died...

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  9. Not had a proper tree for years. We pick masses of eucalyptus and holly from the garden, and hang baubles from those. They both smell wonderful, and there are no needles!

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  10. A couple of years ago I bought a small artificial tree fir €2 , when it is decorated I think it looks splendid well it suits me anyway .

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    1. I may ask for “ readers tree” photos nearer to Christmas

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  11. A three foot Christmas tree planted in the small front garden twenty years ago now tops the telegraph pole it was positioned to obscure. On windy days it thrashes about worryingly between the wires. If my internet goes I will know what to blame.

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    1. I love this sort of present to the world
      From one Christmas past x

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  12. I absolutely love your attitude to life. I hope the night shifts are without stress. Nights were the one thing I really don't miss about work!

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    1. They have been somewhat variable to be honest
      Terribly busy Monday night , better last night

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  13. I usually cut the top 8 ft off a Leylandii. This not only prunes an unruly tree, but it looks good too (if you squint at it).

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  14. I bet Trump doesn't take credit for that tree. Someone is having a bitter laugh - I mean it's not as if the USA is short of a few decent conifers.

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    1. I have seen the Rockefeller tree for several years in a row and it has always looked stunning .....

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  15. Replies
    1. I’m a bit disorientated with the 24 hour clock . Just woke up at 2pm and thought it was a strangely light early morning

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  16. I did think the tree looked a bit bedraggled ! One year the Christmas tree on my village green was such a spindly looking thing it earned the nickname of The Credir Crunch Christmas tree !
    Another year some sod stole the top of the tree when it was lying flat over night as too windy to erect it. So.mean as it is for the whole village to enjoy.

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  17. If that's their tree it truly is a metaphor for 2020 ... and maybe for the Trump era.

    I loved our little 3ft fake Christmas tree as a child, looking at it in photos with me and my brother posing with our new toys it looks quite pathetic, but at the time it was full of the magic of Christmas and I loved it.

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    Replies
    1. Yes...my mother ( who had her faults) always worked incredibly hard at Christmas to make it special . She would make home made sweets and lashings of food and drink

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  18. That DOES look like an oddly forlorn tree for Rockefeller Center. Maybe it will look different once it's settled.

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    1. I don’t think New York would sellotape branches onto it x

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    2. My dad used to drill holes and add branches to our trees if he found bare spots. No tape but same idea.

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  19. We haven't had a tree in several years but I think we will get one this Christmas, since we'll be staying put in England.

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    1. I trust a beautifully photographed one , on your blog

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  20. When the burly tree surgeons and queens get done with it, it will rise like a drag-queen in beauty.

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  21. when I moved from my "parents" house into my first apartment in 1977, my sister gave me a fake tree. I still use that every year.

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  22. I expect Trump may be a little limp now as the Christmas tree.When I was a child myself and my parents went to the woods and looked up at various trees and mum inspected them and when she was happy my dad would saw the branch off(this was over 50 years ago)then he took it into the garage and transformed it into a magicalal silver and snow covered Christmas tree with coloured foiled sweets hanging from the branches.My uncle was busy on Christmas Eve as he helped Santa with the presents and cared for the Reindeer.He always travelled on the sleigh with him and visited my house but I was always too sleepy to stay awake to see him x

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  23. I haven't put a tree up for several years now. Just seems like so much work, plus I don't really have the room for one anymore.

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    1. Debra, actually , I haven’t really got the room in the cottage , so not putting up a tree has become a sort of new tradition ....

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  24. I put up a little artificial tree the day I left my husband. All it has on it are red LED lights. It has remained up since that day - year 'round. I refuse to take it down because it represents something to me. I won't sacrifice happiness to live in pain. So... the holidays. They mean very little to me since I left the church and stopped being a believer. I find the whole thing cheerful, but based on something rather disturbing. A metaphor for my life? Thanks for sharing this. Love Shelly and that movie. Classic nonsense. Good luck with another week of overnights. Sigh. I could not do it. You are a brave and hardy soul.

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    1. No one should live an unhappy life
      My husband , I include in that statement
      I like the symbolism of the red tree, it’s a flag you wave

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  25. Of course the 2020 Christmas tree would be raggedy and patchy...but still standing. I thought of all the Christmas trees of my childhood, and I don't remember an ugly tree, ever. Every year, we were sure we had the best Christmas tree ever!

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    1. Nicely optimistic comment which goes well with the now mighty fine Rockafella tree

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  26. Barbara Anne2:48 pm

    I never will understand putting up Christmas trees and decorations before Thanksgiving, but maybe that's just me. The tree in Rockefeller Center is a departure from their past trees.
    The last Christmas I was home with my parents, I'd brought DH with me. DH and I went to select the perfect live tree and brought a lovely one home. What I didn't notice is that it had a massive trunk that wouldn't fit into the Christmas tree holder. My Dad and DH had to whittle off the trunk's circumference so it would fit. Not so funny at the time, but these decades later, it is.
    Hope the many night shifts ahead are pleasant as so is the staff you work with.

    Hugs!

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    1. No I agree.
      My fairy lights are just something to cheer myself up

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  27. My youngest daughter was born on December the 18th.
    Christmas prep has to wait until birthday celebration is complete. One week is just right for me!

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    1. Barbara Anne5:27 am

      Our first son was born on Christmas Eve. He was due in mid-February but he didn't pay attention to that and weighted 6lb 2oz even though he was early. I had worked a horribly busy ER 3p-11p shift the night before, so that may have had something to do with my going into labor.

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  28. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a 7ft pre lit fake tree 15 or so years ago. It was half price in the Boxing Day sales, still going strong so it was worth the money.

    I have a couple of huge Rubbermaid totes filled with Christmas decorations carefully wrapped up in tissue paper. Love decorating the tree with Xmas music in the background, smoked salmon and bubbly.

    NY is far from my favourite city but it certainly knows how to do Christmas. The Rockefeller tree certainly does look a bit Charlie Brown this year.

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    1. I think it’s my favourite city , always has been

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  29. One year my job was particularly stressful and workdays were long. The kids were asking every night when we're we going to get a tree (always me, never Dad) and so a few nights before Christmas I resolved to stop and get one. Well, the tree seller had closed up shop for the season leaving behind several discards. Not wanting to go home empty handed again, I stuffed one in my trunk and took It home. That poor deformed tree turned out to be the most memorable one we ever had and my two adult children still tell the story of how Mum stole the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

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  30. Here's the scoop on the Rockefeller Center tree! It was covered on the local news here. I live in upstate New York, and the tree was cut from the front lawn of someone who lives about an hour from us. It had all of the branches tied up and trussed for the journey by truck to New York City. I think when they untie it, it will be beautiful, as it was before they chopped it!

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    1. Actually I just looked it up online, and it doesn't appear to have really sprung back!

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    2. They will do wonders no doubt

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    3. On this morning's news they said an owl had been found wrapped up in the branches!

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  31. The Rockefeller Center Tree will be beautiful once it is decorated.

    lizzy

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  32. More pagan than religious celebration in this house. Part of the joy of the season is bringing home the best tree to be found from the ditch. Like Bonnie, I like sitting in the glow of the tree lights in the dark. I maintain that we all need a celebration of the coming of the light in the dark of winter in this northern hemisphere.

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    1. I think I may post a collection of everyone’s Christmas trees nearer christmas

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    2. That is a fabulous idea!

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  33. As someone who has lived around different conifers all my 75 years, there is a reason that nobody in the Pacific NW goes out and cuts or buys a spruce for their christmas tree.

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  34. Well damn, that poor tree looks like it had a rough ride over to the Rockefeller plaza. But if I recollect, it's not the first time they've had to 'spruce up" a damaged tree. There will be overtime involved pulling this one together me thinks. X

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  35. This Rockefeller tree will look so much different when it is done. There was scaffolding all over it yesterday and the elves are busy at work building a tree. Magic still happens in NYC.

    When I was a girl and living

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  36. There have been a lot of stories about this tree on the news - it had been tied down and now that it's had a chance to spring back it looks quite good - even before it's been decorated.
    There was another story on Canadian tv yesterday about the annual tree that the city of Halifax sends to Boston each year. It's a thank you for Boston doctors and nurses who came up to help after the 1917 Halifax explosion - this has been a yearly gift ever since. Normally it is trucked down after a big send off but this year it's going by ship as crossing land borders is difficult at the moment.
    Decorations have started going up all over downtown already and most people seem to want to start early - just to have something cheerful out there!

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    1. I think I will have a “ readers tree” competition

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  37. The first Christmas tree I remember stood on the dining room table in our flat on Camden Rd in London. So green with white candles and glass prisms from some chandelier. Beautiful....late 1940's

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  38. I always buy a giant real tree. The smell reminds me of the UK. Of course here in Oz we can only buy it a couple of weeks before Christmas and have to keep it well water or else it will be shrivelled and brown on Christmas Day. I once had a client who just let her’s shrivel and then stuck a few Easter eggs amongst its brown branches months later.

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  39. I so miss the trip to the forest and the choosing. Then the cutting .to get it in and below the ceiling. Now its much smaller and goes up and decorated the first Saturday in December. Fir trees dont drop their needles so fast. I got the lights from Lidl John thanks.

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  40. https://lite987.com/oneonta-owl-rescued-in-new-york-city-from-rockefeller-tree/?fbclid=IwAR3G3QYkyBgliVkaHqLu5wv3Er8inK6mKKTDqPL1A_Ht2sEBu-Kn44SbnXw Here's a lovely side story about the tree, and another look at it.

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  41. I think the Rockefeller tree has to have individual branches netted back in order to safely transport. Once it is completely untied, it will look beautiful, I am sure!

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  42. The photo of the Rockefeller tree looks a bit sad. I am surprised because this tree is generally spectacular. I love a large tree fully decorated with an angel on top. I will buy my usual Fraser Fir tree.

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  43. Don't panic, I believe this photo was taken before the tree was completely unwrapped from the protective covering used during shipment. Rockefeller Center isn't going to have their annual Christmas tree be a metaphor for 2020.
    Happy Christmas no matter what accommodations must be made and Welcome 2021.

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    1. They had to stop as they were unwrapping it because they found a saw-whet owl had gotten wrapped up with the tree. So they had to get a wildlife rehabber t come in and get the bird. Little guy was hungry and thirsty after 3 days trapped in the tree, but the folks at the wildlife center seem confident he'll be back in the wild shortly.

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    2. Barbara Anne5:31 am

      The plan is that when the little owl has recovered, he'll be taken back to the forest where he/she and the tree came from and set free there.

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  44. My farmer Grandfather would cut down several spindly barely there trees and tie them together to make a Christmas tree. I think he just couldn’t kill a beautifully shaped perfect tree. On another note, my mother insisted on a live tree while we were growing up because I guess it wasn’t a Christmas without one. But she was allergic to pine and would be miserable and sick the whole time, breaking out in hives, puffy face and grouchy. It wasn’t until we were grown that she’d allow an artificial tree.

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  45. You just gave me a new Christmas greeting: "And may Shelly Winters climb up your tree this year!"

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    ReplyDelete

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