Twelfth night is passed, it’s Epiphany. The Christmas tree is down, chopped in the bitter cold into the green garden bin by Mr A.
The end of its short life was marked by three weeks indoors adorned by lights, and baubles accumulated over four decades. It brought great joy to the house when it arrived. It brought a little more joy when it left, creating space for an additional chair where it had stood.
It’s strange that, at a time of year when friends and families gather together inside (covid permitting) we choose to remove a chair and replace it with a tree. Sadly, we weren’t quite so pressed for space this year. We didn’t need a seat for great-gran, Gi-Gi. She’s been on lockdown since Christmas Eve. She tested positive, but shows great resilience. Grateful for her ground floor window, three generations were able to visit.
Every year our tree stands proudly in a barrel, repurposed as a coal scuttle by my Scottish grandad in the nineteen fifties. It was used for Christmas trees when I was a child. The advent of a tinsel tree, and central heating, left it somewhat redundant for a couple of decades. I was happy to revive its usefulness. Now, when it’s not in use for the tree, we use it to store the kindling and firelighters for a wood burning stove. Its upholstered lid can provide a useful extra seat.
I wonder, when Advent comes around again, will I remember that I am minded to turn my thoughts towards a more sustainable alternative to a short lived, space invading, tree in December twenty-two-two?