Christmess time

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.






About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Art, Countryside, Current Affairs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Christmess time

  1. Isobel says:

    Having, rather smugly, posted earlier, I wondered if you would make it tonight, so when my phone flashed, I set my reading aside and clicked.
    Ah, Christmas trees. I have a pic of one in the village where I spent Christams last year. London is full of them. But there won’t be one here. Not at number Twenty One. Fairy lights? Tick. Silver bells? Tick. Candles? Tick. Tree? No.
    It is mainly because I don’t have enough space. I am a maximalist, and there is no free corner to accommodate a tree. But I can’t say I miss one. There are so many fab trees to admire (sorry if that also sounds smug, given your post) that being treeless doesn’t really matter.

    • janh1 says:

      Gosh Isobel. You are positively *oozing* smug! A pal of mine winds lights around a dead tree in her living room every year. Mind you it was a dead tree that she bought from John Lewis so cost a bough and a leg. She’s smug about that too. My quiet critique “Er.. it’s a bit brown” falls on deaf ears. But hey, that’s what friends are for.. to criticise and be ignored 😀
      Look forward to seeing the pics of the fab trees and going straight to your smug-fest blog now!

      • Isobel says:

        She keeps a dead tree in her living room? Bought from John Lewis? Sounds like an arboreal version of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

        Sorry about the smugness; I had achieved a number of things over forty eight hours that have been on the list for weeks, and was feeling that great sense of relief that they were done. Or I g has reminded me that a great many other things remain undone, so most of of the smug has evaporated now.

      • janh1 says:

        It’s dead trendy but mostly dead 🙂

        No no, don’t apologise for smugness. It’s attractive in someone who rarely is. Besides it’s very transient, so perhaps we should celebrate it more 🙂

        If I could think of a single thing to be smug about, then I jolly well would be!

  2. LOL What a cracker 🙂 Just dropping by from Nahblahblah and the other side of the planet. Loved your post. I will be borrowing ‘Christmess’ … so apt a description. And where do I sign up for the Shit Tour?

    • janh1 says:

      I’m so glad someone else calls it Nahblahblah 🙂 Yup, reckon I’ll have enough venues for a Shit Christmess Tour in a couple of weeks. Details will be posted here 😀

  3. Darrel Kirby says:

    That tree really is awful – fear of our tree ending up in a similar state is why Christmas decorating in the Kirby household falls to my wife who has much better design sensibilities. I love the image of the fairy abseiling to safety in the event of fire though.

    The other thing that strikes me is that the tree doesn’t seem very big…

  4. juliabyers10 says:

    I loved the years when my children were small (between about 3-4ft !!) and all the tree decorations would be clustered about the lower branches of the tree. I used to itch to rearrange them ‘properly’ and only just managed to make myself wait until they were safely tucked up in bed before I made what I thought were my subtle changes. Of course they noticed the changes next morning and I feigned ignorance, but now I do rather miss the delightful haphazard nature of the decorating skills of those still young enough to lack all pretension. Their decoration techniques were the manifestation of pure joy and delight.

    • janh1 says:

      Yes! Thanks for sharing, Julia. Happy days. I used to have to re-arrange them though, subtle-like, being a bit of a control freak around Christmas deccies. 🙂

      One year, I decided they’d help to make Christmas biscuits in bell and star shapes, which they baked and we tied with red ribbon to the tree. It all looked very homely-crafty. The first plopped to the floor on Christmas Eve and I thought it had just gone a bit soft. On Christmas morning, we found the red ribbons on the floor under the tree, a few crumbs around the place and a very tubby-looking springer spaniel. 🙂

      • juliabyers10 says:

        We had similar experience with chocolate decorations and a guilty Border terrier. Said terrier also managed to steal and eat Fairy destined for top of tree during the scrummage that was tree decoration time! Very unusual deposits found in garden for a few days after that incident!

      • janh1 says:

        He *ate* the fairy??!!! I met a border yesterday. They look so benign and butter-wouldnt-melt!
        Are we talking twinkly turds? Quite Christmassy, really… 😊

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