I can safely say this is the first time I’ve ever ‘built’ a tree.

The day before Zoë and I were due to fly to England the unthinkable happened. My (artificial) Christmas tree suddenly arrived. I know… a week late! Anyway, we hurriedly arranged the troops to make good on earlier plans to meet up and decorate.

I don’t have to explain to you how much I love Christmas. If you know me at all then you will know that I’m the kind of person who bounces around for months in advance, listening to Christmas music, baking Christmas food (not so much here but wait til I get home!), making things glittery. I might not celebrate it as a religious festival but it still represents most things that I love about life and about winter, in particular. There’s a true emphasis on togetherness and family and warmth. It’s a few days when the world is shut out and peace does seem to reign, just for a while. Of course, it’s how life should be generally but I’ll not get into that.

Yes, this is what trees look like nowadays, children.

So anyway, the tree arrived and, with a bit of teamwork we managed to push it, in the giant box, through the building complex from Dania’s room to mine. It wasn’t exactly heavy but bulky… oh it was that!

Dania left for a while to work on an essay, leaving Zoë and me to attempt to assemble the tree ready for decorating. Okay, so I had a fake tree back home that I used to put in my room (in addition to a real tree downstairs). You’d kinda stand it up, pull the branches down from the centre and you were done. Oh no, not this one. This one came with an instruction manual in quite a few different languages as well as several rather odd looking parts. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly complex in the end but you have no idea how much trouble we had putting this thing together…. kinda concerning when one thinks that we’re both supposed to be somewhat intelligent, Zoë studying at Oxford and all that jazz.

Serious work going on here. Highly skilled labour.

It was then time for Leonoor and Dania to join us, with pizza, and for us all to chill and bit before making my room extra sparkly. Seriously, any excuse for a bit of a social evening and some junk food!

Lights. Eep.

Okay, so the first thing I noticed is that Christmas lights here are weird. I would say that it was just the ones I bought but Leonoor insisted that they’re normal so I’m guessing it’s a Dutch Christmas light issue. The string that they come on is circular. I don’t know why this is the case because a looped string of lights have got to be less practical – what if I wanted to put them around the edges of my room? But yeah, there’s an odd, seeming, difference from back in the UK 😉

Having fought with the lights – they were not easy to get on the tree even with four of us working at it – it was time for the baubles to go on. I went to make tea like the good host, and put some mince pies in the oven. I came back and found my poor tree groaning under the weight of nearly 100 baubles. Okay, I exaggerate, and it does look good, but I had to laugh at the way my friends managed to attack the tree in about two minutes. It’s so special though because it’s been decorated by some of my special people it’s an extra special tree to me.

Don’t want to have to take it down!


Guess what? This post is not for facebook because it’s been sitting in my drafts for waaaaay too long!


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