We always have a real tree at Christmas and the trip to go choose said tree, provides yet more fuel for the Mudlet excitement levels. A couple of weeks earlier whilst on the way to collect Eldest Mudlet from the bus station in a local town, I had passed a sign for Christmas trees which a local independent nursery had for sale.
We had been to this little nursery before and really liked the fact that not only was it a family run business but it stocked plant necessities like compost, pots and feed and …… drum roll please …… plants!! Not a candle, ornament, book, jigsaw or article of clothing in sight. For gardeners who were heartily sick of having to walk through acres of non-gardening related items before reaching an actual plant in the larger local garden centres, this was a breath of fresh air and so when I suggested to Mud that we go to the smaller establishment to get our tree this year, he readily agreed.
Last Saturday was the day and just after lunch, we piled into Thomas and set off for the nursery. A short while later we arrived and even before Mud and I had chance to get our breath, the girls had spotted the tree they wanted and were making a bee line for it.
“This is the one!” they squealed, ignoring our attempts to get them to slow down and look at the other trees on display. There weren’t many but the quality of all the trees stood out a mile. Mind you Mud and I could see the attraction of the tree they wanted and on closer inspection we decided that there was nothing wrong with their instincts and the tree they had chosen was indeed the ideal one for us. Seven feet tall, with short compact branches, evenly dispersed up the length of its’ trunk, this tree would fit nicely into the kitchen without the need to trim anything off the length of the back branches. Perfect!
With the tree safely installed in its’ stand, I watered it thoroughly and then we left it over night, to give it chance to rehydrate before we started to decorate it.
The thing with starting family traditions is that sometimes the enthusiasm of the younger members of the family to carry them out, can cause direct conflict with the energy levels of the adults needed to facilitate any given tradition. So was the case with the next Mudville tradition – the annual choosing of the new decorations.
Every year we take the Mudlets to the Christmas Wonderland at a local garden centre and they are allowed to choose a new Christmas decoration/ornament each. With the tree installed the girls were eager to move on to this next tradition and were asking when would they be able to go. Sunday was out of the question because I was going to help Eldest Mudlet move her stuff from her old flat to her new place and that was probably going to take most of Sunday, so Saturday afternoon was the only viable time left.
Unfortunately, after a several weeks of ‘stop/start’ runs to Head Office and back, Mud was feeling pretty tired and was more than a little jaded where driving was concerned and once we had returned from doing some necessary household shopping, the last thing he wanted to do was set off for what was bound to be a crowded garden centre.
“But you could take them,” he offered as a solution and so disaster averted, the girls and I headed off to see what we could find.
Over the years, the girls have chosen some really nice things but this year I did notice a bit of a theme with Middle Mudlets choice of a gorgeous, glittery red sleigh and the golden butterfly of her younger sister:
Middle Mudlets’ choices
Little Mudlets’ choices
I also managed to pick up two sets of 20 battery operated LED fairy lights in ‘warm white’ one set of which is now in the front window and the other set has been nestled in amongst some terracotta tinsel, at the base of the basket of Christmas plants Mud had bought me. This has added some much needed light and Christmas sparkle to a dark corner of the dining room.
Decorating of the tree took place Sunday evening when I got back from helping Eldest Mudlet move her stuff into her new home and as she wasn’t at work on Monday, to the surprise and delight of her younger sisters, she came back with me for an overnight stay. The shrieks of delight as the girls saw their much loved sister getting out of the car were probably heard by Santa and his elves beavering away in the North Pole but it certainly lifted her spirits.
So there were three Mudlets to help with the decorating of the tree, with careful supervision from me to ensure a well balanced tree and by the time the Angel had taken her place at the very top, the two youngest were shattered and ready for bed and after the stress and strains of moving house, the eldest and I were ready for a well earned rest and all around us Christmas lights twinkled, tinsel sparkled ………. and Mud complained about the lack of anything decent to watch on the telly – no change there then!