Tag Archives: Christmas Tree

It’s Christmas!

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I’ve been tagged!!!

I’ve been nominated by Baby Steps to share my experience of Christmas and help you all get in a nauseatingly festive mood. Despite only just rekindling my love affair with all things festive, this is my very first time being tagged and therefore I can’t resist giving it a go. I can’t promise you’ll read this and feel all warm and glowy inside – I’ve scanned the questions and am already dreading having to reveal my inner Grinch.But Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of moan so let me do yours for you, sit back, and let’s dish the dirt on Christmas!

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

I used to be incredibly indifferent to Christmas. From about the age of 18, I’ve lived alone and all the trekking to see relatives, the expense, the buying presents etc used to overwhelm me. It was always nice seeing everyone but it seemed like a whole lot of fuss for just one day.

Now my attitude is unrecognisable. With Dexter here, I’m hugely excited for him. The tree is up, the presents are in the process of being wrapped, the plans to see the wider family are coming together. Dexter is far too young to appreciate my efforts but this year is a practice round for those to come. I’ll be mentally preparing a list of things we need for next year to make it extra special when he’s finally able to join in.

If I was pushed to say the thing that makes Christmas special for me – it would have to be champagne at lunchtime. The aim is to get suitably drunk by dinner so the crappy tv schedule doesn’t make you suicidal.

ChampagneChristmasWhat is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?

Same as always. I always have red nails, nude lips bronzed cheekbones and smokey eyes. I have quite a distinctive face and if I wear anything more than this, I tend to look like a drag queen which isn’t a good look at all. In fact watching my face deteriorate throughout the day is a pretty common theme at Christmas. When I drink red wine my cheeks redden and my lips stain – it’s a sure-fire way to tell where Gemma sits on the drunk-o-meter as I’m usually pretty self-conscious about how I look.

Real or Fake trees?

REAL!!!! I can’t stand fake trees. When I was a little girl, we used to get our trees from the same gypsy encampment every year. Knowing what I do know about gypsy’s I can understand why my dad used to restrict the amount of cash he bought with him. This was the closest pop-up store in a field near to our house and it used to be a fairly big deal picking the right tree. At aged 16 when I was told we were having a fake tree for the first year ever – I remember getting in a mighty strop about it.

Sure the needles fall off and you sometimes prick yourself when decorating it – but I love the imperfectness of a real tree, and the smell is gorgeous. Fake trees are always too green, and no amount of tinsel can cover the plasticky middle section.

Giving or receiving presents?

If I say receiving I’ll look like a right selfish bint so giving it is! No in all seriousness I do like buying presents for some people.There’s nothing better than that feeling when you know you’ve got it right. You’ve found something unique and cool that the receiver will use all year round and tell their mates about.

For some reason I really feel the pressure when buying for my other half though. He’ll never say what he wants so it’s always a guessing game and I know my choices are sometimes disappointing. I seem to fall into the trap of spending more and hoping he’s impressed by the price tags. Worst present has to be Apple TV that I bought him last year – we’ve used it once.

Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

Always the morning. This year though Dexter has lots of little pressies so we’ll probably stagger it so he gets a whole days worth of surprises.

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

I hate them all!!! Tee hee – that’s not strictly true. I’m not a huge film fan and find heartwarming films a little cutesy for my liking. I definitely prefer films for grown ups so my favourites would Die Hard or Edward Scissorhands. Something that doesn’t overdo it on the Christmas Trees and Carol Singing.

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Before you all shake your head in sympathy and pray for me – I’m sure with Dexter here I’ll have to get used to cartoons and U rated movies in the near future. Maybe my son’s face during Toy Story will restore my faith in Disney. Until then, I’m banning terrestrial tv on Christmas Day. Daddy and I will watch a box set of Batman or something equally dark and action packed.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Has to be cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon, and all the little finger food bits and pieces. Anything my Craig cooks is delicious but let’s face it – you wouldn’t cook Turkey at any other time than Christmas Day – you’d opt for chicken which is far tastier.

Reading this back I’m still a weeney bit Bah Humbug aren’t I? Oh dear – well with each day that passes I’m sure I’ll get into the spirit a little more.

I’m tagging three of my favourite blogger’s to (hopefully) spread a little more joy xx

Mummy Bird

Attachment Mummy

Mum’s the Word

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O Christmas Tree! Special thanks to Cambium

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Last year was a comedy of errors as far as the Christmas Tree goes. We had just moved house, I was heavily pregnant, and we left it far too late to buy a tree. We debated not getting one and tried to tell ourselves we didn’t need one, but seeing the hundreds of pretty trees posted on Facebook, I eventually snapped and barked at Craig that we had to have one.

So two weeks before Christmas Craig virtually had to perform an Indiana-Jones-style-roll through the doors at Homebase before they shut for evening. Rushing through to the plant section he had to literally wade through scores of broken and deformed trees to find one large enough for our lounge. I remember that tree very well as it ended up living in our bath for two days. It had an abnormally large base and didn’t fit in our planter. We had tried laying in down in our kitchen and hacking at it with a carving knife (in hindsight – the most inappropriate tool ever) to try to slice off some of the excess – but it’ll come as no surprise this didn’t work.

In desperation we posted on Twitter and Facebook appealing for someone to help us track down a planter big enough to hold up our tree. As the only response we got was from Cumbria, we ended up waiting for an auction to end on eBay for a resizable one in London (50 miles away). Craig then had to take time off work to go and pick up the bloody thing. With a tree languishing in our bath, it literally couldn’t come soon enough – it had begun to show signs of mould and had developed a kind of curvature of the spine resulting in a very prominent bend in the trunk.

When we finally got the tree up, the wonky bit threatened to tip it up at any moment. We ended up propping it up against the wall and giving it a wide berth for the 3 weeks it was up.  With the lights costing us £80 (as everywhere had run out of the cheap ones) that tree was nightmare from start to finish!

So this year, when an old friend messaged me on Facebook with an offer of a tree delivered to our door, we bit his hand off. The offer was from Stuart from Cambium – a specialist corporate plant supplier that I have worked with before in a professional capacity. I’ve actually been an office manager for several London-based firms, and always took Cambium with me from job to job. They’ve supplied me with perfectly manicured indoor trees and ornate flowers that always got wonderful comments from colleagues and office visitors. Cambium were always such an absolute pleasure to work with and the plants always looked fabulous (despite my considerable knack for killing plants just by admiring them).

As a special thank you for inviting them to tender for a few big contracts, Stuart has given us the most beautiful tree for our home. It has to go down as the best tree we’ve ever had – fantastically bushy and smells divine. It’s certainly made up for all the stress of last year and we’re so grateful.

We had lots of fun decorating it and I only hope we’ve done it justice – what do you think? I’m not sure we’ll be winning any prizes soon…