You can tell we’ve entered the season of Goodwill, Boundless Bling and Over-indulgence when festive Christmas tree pictures are featured in the newspapers.
Today’s tree was from Bradford-on-Avon where it’s reported that the poor long-suffering residents had to endure a boring tree last year.
What could be boring about a Christmas tree? Just the natural tree? The spines not sharp enough to keep the attention if you accidentally stab yourself with them? The green too dull? Pre-war baubles and not enough lights?
I’ve no idea but whatever was wrong with last year’s Bradford-on-Avon tree has been eclipsed by the compleat dog’s dinner that is this year’s tree.
It’s a tree designed to put the “mess” into Christmess and described as “an explosion in a rag factory.”
The shopkeeper who decorated it, Andrew Allen says “We wanted to do something big and bright and something different and eye-catching.”
Can’t fault him on that.
It’s been vertically strewn with garlands that hang down like emergency escape routes for the fairy on the top – only there isn’t a fairy. If there was one she’d be able to abseil down the sturdy decorations in the event of fire.
The colours are red and a terrible eau de nil green. There are also hearts and a few mysterious baubles on the tree which look as though they have been fired at short range at the tree, then fixed where they landed.
It has all the symmetry and discipline of a hurricane.
Mr Allen said “I think it’s easy to criticise and easy to point at something that’s different and maybe something too soon for a conservative town.
“But, the kids love it and Christmas is for the kids. There’s too much misery in the world.”
I can’t help thinking that he should have left it to a bunch of five-year-olds.
The very *dreadfulness* of the tree meant it was tweeted and facebooked all around the world and back. A lot of people in many different countries now know about Bradford-on-Avon’s tree.
So what did they do? Instead of basking in infamy and dubious glory, the people of Bradford-on-Avon have redecorated the tree, taken down all the gaudy vertical streamers and made it into a dull tree to rival last year’s.
They have ruined my plan to launch a seasonal business called “Shit Christmess Tours” with the Bradford-on-Avon tree as the highlight of the trip.
We could have started opposite my house, where the neighbours run a a thick cable of blue/yellow chasing lights across the top of their garage and then throw it haphazardly over their hedge.
We could have stopped in Bath where I once saw a little Christmas tableau of creatures who had been left out in the sun, wind and rain for about ten years and had completely lost their colour and many of their eyes and then we could have paid proper homage to the shit tree in Bradford-on-Avon.
But the Christmess tree has been dumbed down to the standard of last year’s boring tree, so the Tour is off.
The Mayor John Potter, said it was “a shame” the tree had been altered.
“We’ve toned it all down now. It was rather flamboyant. Perhaps rather too flamboyant for Bradford-on-Avon.”
I rather agree. At Christmess time, we like mistletoe and a good whine.