A Nordmann fir speaks:
'Not so pretty now am I? Lights out, stripped of all my twinkling finery; a dried husk of a thing. My once plump needles loosen and fall to the floor. So unwanted and unloved am I that tomorrow I'll get my ass hauled down the garden to feel the lick of flames. In 15 minutes consigned to memory. Ah, a Christmas tree's life is a short but merry one. One moment blown by the winds of Wales, then bought in, bedecked and worshipped by firelight. (My word, I was beautiful once.) But come twelfth night....cast out without so much as a word of thanks. Shudder. No one warned me it would end this way. Cards have gone too - but I notice the bunch of mistletoe has somehow escaped attention tacked up there on a beam amongst the cobwebs and the decoy duck collection. Will it still be there come July? Perhaps. Probably. But then I believe there is a superstition which says it should remain from one year's end to the next. Useful thing superstition, especially if good housekeeping is not one's forte. (Naming no names of course - but it would be the same person who left a frieze of santa's sleigh up in their children's bedroom for a mere 3 years. The excuse of the stopped clock being right twice a day is no good either.)
So that's it from me and for Christmas 2008. The baubles have gone back into the loft and I await my fate. Long live 2009.'
Now I feel mean - condemning a once beautiful thing to the fire. It's like making old teddies live in a box in the cellar and feeling reproached on catching their starey glassy eyes while having a tidy up.
Stop. No, No. No. Dead tree. New year. Time to move on. Christmas and New Year hype over and done with. Ditto Sales and 'Holiday' menus. It must almost be safe to venture out again. I'm putting my head up over the parapet (and that's a head sensibly be-hatted as it's so damned cold in these parts*) to see if the world has moved on. Here's hoping that whatever remains of the great British High Street is looking to the future because I certainly am.
* Haven't seen temperatures above zero for a week now; we reached -9C last night. Cold. Damned cold indeed.