|My living-room at Christmas some years ago|
loft a fortnight ago, it's made of bristle 'branches' entwined by wire at-
tached to a wooden 'stem', from which the branches unfold to display the
tree to best effect - only to be folded back against the stem when it's time
for it to return to the loft for another year. At least, that was the process
originally. However, the wire is now far too frail to withstand continual
bending (and has been for many a year), so is simply covered with a
bag before being returned to its accustomed place in the attic.
The tree is older than me and has graced every house I've ever lived
in. However, over a quarter of a century ago, some of the branches were
used it to replace the missing branches and beads on my own tree.
Standing back to admire the results of my restoration work some
nied me willingly, believing itself welcomed into the bosom of a new family
whose Christmases it would happily share every year from that point on -
only to be ripped apart and cast aside upon arrival in its new home. I felt
like a murderer. So eager had I been to restore my old tree, I'd hardly
considered the act of cruelty I was inflicting upon its doppelganger.
|Oo-er - the dog's up on the settee again|
Both bases were portions of logs into which the tree-stems were
sunk. The logs had then been painted red with gold highlights applied
in places over the bark. However, although each tree was the same size
(or had been until my 'surgical' intervention), the 'new' base was a fair bit
thinner and therefore seemed, compared to its 'twin', out of proportion
to its height. Had the tree been smaller, it would have been a much
better match for its base.
|A close-up of 'Junior'|
That was the answer. I would use the remnants of the ruined tree to
for all the world as if it had always been that way!
Every Christmas since (approximately 28 or 29), both trees have
'Junior' on top of the TV in the back half - each with their own set of lights
to pierce the descending darkness of December late-afternoons. And thus
shall it ever be until my last Christmas on earth - and if they should survive
my passing, some kindly stranger, perhaps seeing them in a charity shop
window, will take them both home to brighten the Christmases of a
new family for many a long year to come.
"God bless us, every one!"