The Garbageman's family are coming to ours for Christmas lunch. It seems appropriate, therefore, that we have a tree. For me, it has to be a real one - it just isn't right if it doesn't have that piney-pine smell. I've been seeing trees everywhere for weeks and this morning decided we better get busy and get ours. L and I headed out first thing. The local greengrocer had sold out and wouldn't be getting anymore, they said. Off we went to the next store. 'Christmas Trees' said a big sign out the front. We sold the last one yesterday, said the grocer. It's been a bad year. It'll be a miracle if you find one this late.
A miracle. This late. Oh, dear.
We headed back to our old suburb where, last year, every corner shop had a half dozen trees on display out the front on any day leading up to Christmas. Only one had a tree, and it was completely brown. Heart sinking, I realised it would have to be a plastic tree or none. I've let you down, Lolie, I said. I've left it too late. Don't worry, Mummy, said she from the back seat. I love plastic.
Heading down the travelator towards Kmart, lo and behold, a single tree leaning against the wall outside the shopping centre greengrocer. A quick inspection and, though it had seen better days, it was still green and lush on the upper branches and smelled that familiar glorious smell. I established it was the last tree available and even wrangled a hefty discount - because it's half-dead, I said. And me carrying the tree and L carrying my handbag around her neck, we made it back to the car and got the thing home, up and decorated.
And now it's starting to feel a lot more like Christmas.
And in other news, L gave her dummy to Santa today. Quite literally. We stood in line, pushed past a two-year-old in her best dress melting down at the sight of the bloke in red, (exactly like a two-year-old I once knew almost exactly a year ago) then handed him the thing that has put her to sleep every night of her life bar the first, asked for a bike in return, please, and went on our merry way. It all seemed too easy.
She is sleeping as I type. Let's hope it lasts the night.