My Xmas tree is dead. Or at least its dying a whimpering, withering death. This is our first Christmas in NZ. I’m an island girl who grew up with sweltering rainy season Christmases. But I also grew up on Enid Blyton and Swiss Chalet girls books, so I wanted a real Xmas tree. I wanted the house redolent with the fragrance of fresh pine. I figured drinking eggnog and eating hot gingerbread in front of a roaring fire was out of the question since it’s summer here…but at least, we could have a real tree. The Hot Man questioned my desire. ‘What the heck do we want a real tree for? Isn’t that a waste of money when a fake tree will last forever?’ Clearly he did not grow up reading Secret Seven, Famous Five or daydreaming about being a schoolgirl in the Swiss Alps. So I ignored him. (You just know how this is going to end, don’t you!?)
I even went one step further and got our tree set up early this year. On December 1st to be exact. We had our tree. And I was inspired by Plantation House ‘From Our House to Yours’ Xmas photoshoot.
I made a pine wreath using leaves from the trees in our yard. I meandered pine all over my mantlepiece, my living room. Artfully strewn with Xmas baubles. My niece was awestruck with my creativity. ‘Wow aunty, you’re so clever. How do you know how to do that?!’ I waved off the applause nonchalantly. I was Xmas woman personified. A bottle of ginger beer – and Enid Blyton and me would have totally been best buddies. I just know it.
And then the stupid tree started dying. It’s sitting in water so I don’t know what the heck its problem is. It’s getting brown. Withered looking. It’s shedding everyday. My living room looks like the place where Xmas goes to die. My brother remarked (sneeringly) ‘Well what did you expect? You can’t even keep potplants alive, how did you think you were going to sustain an entire tree?” I hate it. Every rotting pine needle screams ‘Lani is a Xmas tree killer!’ I want to take it down and replace it with a lovely fake tree bu the Hot Man is shaking his head at me and I already spent the alloted Xmas Tree budget on a tree. That’s now a dead tree.
He hasn’t said ‘I told you so’ yet. (what a nice man) He has helpfully suggested that we wrap the fossilizing monstrosity in layers of tinsel. Kind of like applying makeup to a cadaver and sending it to a party in a Lady Gaga dress. No, nothing can save it.
The Christmas tree is dead. Bring on the bonfire.
I’m going Gaga-tree-style for Christmas.