Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Tree, London Style

Putting up the Christmas tree has always signalled the real start of the Christmas countdown. Growing up in Nova Scotia, we used to trek out to the woods behind our house, often through knee-deep snow, and lop down our chosen tree, usually followed along the way by our anti-social cat Mittens. The tree generally didn't look like much, but the search was as important as the end result. As we got older, we abandoned the search in favour of Christmas-tree lots, where we could buy fresh, perfectly formed trees for minimal cost.

Canadians would die if they knew what was being passed off as Christmas trees in London. When I first saw the trees being sold in the flower market down the street, I couldn't believe that trees so small actually existed. Or that they were being sold for £40! I flatly refused to buy one from the market, thinking it was a rip-off... until I discovered that these these trees were the norm. Of course, most Londoners live in flats with not much room for trees, but STILL! I gave in, and we carried our tiny tree home. It looked even smalled in our flat with our very high ceilings. Oh how I longed for home.

Now, five years later, I no longer balk at either cost nor appearance. That's just the way it is in London, and if I want a real tree, that's the price I'll have to pay. Literally.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Two years ago friends made a gift of a tree for me, as I didn't have one - from the pound shop in Tooting. It's about a foot high and sits atop our bookcase. We have wee decorations that stay on it, in a box, all year long. I figured this was one of the sacrifices inherent in moving to London. I do miss proper trees, though.