It’s become a bit of a tradition that on a Saturday close to Christmas my friend Dave and I go and collect the two trees. There’s one tree for church and one for our house.
The tree for church was 14ft this year, Dave had already reserved it so we weren’t worry about choosing a tree. It has been rather wet in Lancashire this year and the tree was sodden. All the water made it heavier than anything we had previously erected. It was a good job we weren’t travelling far. It was also fortunate that Dave’s Dad and Jonathan had come to help us.
Picking a tree for our house was a little more tricky. I wondered around a couple of times. They had very tall thin trees and shorter fatter trees, but no shorter thin trees. As I was about to give up the lady from farm bought another tree out. It was still wrapped in the mesh they put it in for transportation. She started to unfurl it and branch by branch out came a wonderful smaller thin tree, great.
Once we got to church we lifted out the huge 14ft tree and pondered over what we were going to do. We thought we could just about get it into the pot, but we weren’t sure the pot would stand up with a sodden tree in it. Having done this a few times we knew that once we took the tree out of its transportation mesh there was no going back so we had to be sure. We struggled to put the tree up into the pot and managed it, but we still weren’t sure it would stay up. A pragmatic approach was needed, out came the saw. The church Christmas tree is now a magnificent 12ft tree. We could now get on with the decorating.
Once home it was time to put up the Chastney family tree. Putting up the tree has become a fabulous time of remembering. Out of the garage comes the box of decorations; decorations that have been built up over years.
There’s are decorations that we have been sent by family who were living in Florida. We look at these decorations and remember two fabulous holidays. One different from the other but both fabulous in there own ways.
There’s a decoration given to us by a spiritual mentor who is no longer with us, but we know she is loving her time in Heaven.
There are decorations with dates on them which remind us of a time when Jonathan and Emily were only small.
The lights on the tree remind us of a time when we helped decorate a ward at the local hospital. We went to one of the local department stores and asked them if they could help in any way. They gave us all of the previous years decorations. There were boxes and boxes of lights. There were so many that we bought some of them home and put them on our own tree.
We don’t have a designer tree, we have a memory tree.