|It's a tree Jim, but not as we know it!|
Not a difficult thing to appreciate if you can imagine being a young, eager girl, faced with the seventies Poundstretcher equivalent of this gorgeous cherubic baby that (should have) floppy 'lifelike' limbs, an open mouth, cry 'real' tears and pee into it's own nappy (spares as standard).
In a bid to curtail the endless wails of disappointment rending from No.4 that particular Christmas morning, my father whipped the solid, plastic, rigid 'baby' which Santa had clearly hoped I could be fobbed off with (I wasn't ever told he didn't exist, I just decided he didn't that year ) from my sobbing arms and to the shed for some light cosmetic intervention.
When he returned, the doll had an open mouth and another opening 'down below'. From somewhere appeared squares cut out as 'nappies' and so, slightly placated and a little bit wary, I held my baby gently, rocked her and fed the bottle of water into her new mouth. Then excitedly waited for her to pee so I could change her nappy and show my Mum how clever I was at practising to look after my own baby.
What I wasn't expecting was a steady trickle of water to start appearing from her neck, underarms and leg joints. And if I was worried about becoming a mother before this, then the baby leaking from all areas just about finished me off. There was no way I was ever going to be doing this for real, thanks very much.
So you can forgive me if the magic of Christmas kind of went downhill from thereon in.
I do try to hold out a small glimmer of hope that something magical might happen around the festive season and I also try not to let my Grinchy ways affect others around me; I think on the whole it works.
However, this year, after agreeing that we couldn't be arsed to even bring the tree down from the loft and spend the three hours it usually takes us to collate, assemble and erect the 6 foot monstrosity that is an alpine fir to be reckoned with, we made our own 'bauble-hanger'. (See pic). Out of bits of wire from the garage, one of the tall vases from our wedding day, the bottom part of the hat-box in which I had beautiful flowers delivered this year by my writing lovelies, then decorated it.
No trees were harmed, no tempers frayed, and we had a lovely, creative time twisting the 'branches' and hanging the balls and standing back and admiring our handicraft.
And if that's as festive as I get this year, then I've already done well!