Never Decorate Your Tree Twice (and Other Festive Dilemmas)

Today’s Guest Author – who desires to remain strictly anonymous – shares with us the first of some cautionary tales about the festive season (which seems to have arrived faster than ever) that form the helpful compendium: Bah Humbug! A Survivor’s Guide to End of Year Festivities.

(Photo: Petals and Boots)

Last weekend I decorated the Christmas tree; this weekend I decorated it again. It was the Christmas lights which caused the problem. Light of my Life thought the set of twenty lights looked rather paltry and returned home with a set of fifty lights. Before you could say Santa Claus, the tree had been stripped of all its lights and decorations and Light of my Life calmly said, “The rest is up to you”.

Fifty lights should go twice as far as twenty, so I thought that it would be easy. But the fifty lights did not go even as far as the twenty lights had. After three disastrous attempts, the happy Christmas mood was decidedly fragile. I glared across the room at Light of my Life, imagining with some satisfaction the Christmas lights wrapped tightly around a neck.

Luckily the survival instinct kicked in. Light of my Life calmly unwound the lights from the tree and laid them along the floor. Then laid the despised set of twenty lights parallel with them. The cable lengths were identical. So to fit fifty lights on the cable the gaps between lights were much smaller. Any hope of completing the task was impossible.

The twenty lights were then replaced on the tree and the redecorating completed, without the joyous mood of the previous occasion. The fifty lights were fitted into their box to be returned. Seasonal lesson learnt? Decorating the Christmas tree can only be enjoyed once in any Christmas season. The second or third time around, it’s just a hard slog.

(Photo: Inspiring Interns)

Other seasonal lessons that I have learnt the hard way include keeping some spare Christmas cards, as well as the appropriate priced card postage stamps. Someone that you have forgotten inevitably sends you a card. You can mask your forgetfulness because you are using the Christmas card postage rate, rather than the standard stamp – a dead give-away that you forgot. After Christmas, any spare cards can be stored for next year and any left over stamps can have additional postage added and be used for normal correspondence.

Even worse than the unexpected card is the unexpected visitor smilingly bearing gifts. Forward planning can have you cool and composed. Buy a couple of multipurpose items that you could use later if not needed. A nice bottle or two of wine, whisky or sherry, maybe some imported beer. Or a biscuit selection, chocolates, or some gift vouchers. Have these items wrapped and tagged, ready to be written at a moment’s notice, and no one will ever guess that they caught you out.

Food can be another area of conflict. Should it be the full traditional Monty, including a tired and harassed cook

(Photo: Alamy)

… or a more contemporary feel? My answer is to keep the bits of tradition that I like and discard the rest. After all, Christmas is supposed to be about celebration and joy, not suffering, so why should the cook slave away, just because everyone expects it? Anyone who moans should be enlisted to help; this helps them appreciate the amount of work involved and so silences most critics.

(Photo: Catchpole)

Next week: the gentle art of present-giving …

304 thoughts on “Never Decorate Your Tree Twice (and Other Festive Dilemmas)

  1. One thing for sure, Abbott does not seem to be missed.

    Curtis./ Missed messages coming from the government. Never truer word said.

  2. ABC 24. Making must of what just occurred. McFarlane has been made a fool of.

    Holden replied to that letter. What they said this morning stands.

    When these negotiations first began, a couple of months ago, Holden did say they would be making a decision around this time.

    They where told, there would be no decision until there was a productivity inquiry, which would not report until next year.

    Holden had no choice but to work to this timetable.

    Some, not Mcfarlane, are now demanding Holden give their decision immediately.

    Well, I am sorry if this is confusing.

    I wonder who is in control of this government.

  3. If the Government is saying that business should invest their own money and not ask the taxpayer for a hand out, I wonder what they will do next time the agrarian socialists come looking for a leg up?

  4. The senate has voted against the first of the carbon tax repeal bills.

    The Senate has rejected the first of the government’s carbon tax repeal bills with Labor and the Greens combining to vote it down.

    Parliament’s upper house voted 38 to 29 against further debate on a bill to scrap the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, effectively defeating the legislation.

    The CEFC abolition legislation was the first of the package of 11 bills which abolish the carbon tax, in line with a coalition election promise.

  5. Businesses investing their own money!!??
    I’ll bet Stan Howard’s on the phone to Brother John even now. If this government reneges on the values of its traditional supporters in such a fashion I can’t see it lasting.

  6. So after a lot of stuffing around, and nephew taking a day off, a Ducati 840 CC can be made to fit into what was a pristine 600 Super Sport (I’ll keep the ‘bits’).

    Fuel injection is nice.

    Have just been around the block. Quick!

  7. Australia is open for business – people smuggling business.

    People smugglers are telling asylum seekers that bad diplomatic relations between Australia and Indonesia mean the route by boat to Christmas Island is once again open for business.

    New evidence obtained by Fairfax Media shows asylum seekers are being told not to fear arrest by Indonesian police because co-operation has been suspended in light of the phone-tapping affair.

    “Nowadays it is a safe time to go to Australia because my country and Australia have a bad diplomatic relationship,” one smuggler’s agent in the West Java town of Cisarua told a potential client.

  8. Have just got back from having liquid nitrogen ( I think that is what it was) applied to a lump that has been on my upper lip for about 2 months now. Geez that hurts..

  9. j6p
    Yeah, I had a wart frozen off my finger a few months ago. Youch. It works though. It is great for getting rid of ugly, useless knobs of crap. (Think what you with that.)

  10. I finished, with some help, the dog kennel at tafe. That makes today my last day, except for picking up the dog kennel on Thursday. I am going to miss that place. I was thinking about that when I hit the car on a roundabout on the way home. Just a bit of a dingle and insurance details exchanged. I thought there was no cars there but one of the entrances is out of a football club car park and I didn’t see that car come out. I totally forget that fourth entrance to the roundabout. (weird design).

  11. Have just got back from having liquid nitrogen ( I think that is what it was) applied to a lump that has been on my upper lip for about 2 months now. Geez that hurts..

    You aren’t supposed to drink it Joe.

  12. J6P, you’re lucky they didn’t cut it out. I have had two basal removals in the last 6 years. Any more and I may be an Al Pacino [scarface]

  13. Joe Hockey is promising, nay gloating over MORE trash-talking of the economy. This time he promised us gloom-and-doom next Tuesday at the Press Club.

    When will this absolute idiot ever learn?

    He spent three years in Opposition slagging-off Swan and the national accounts, debt, deficit, exceeding credit card limits etc. and is now attempting to continue doing the same thing in government… why?

    Seemingly to cover his arse.

    The man is a buffoon. He shouldn’t be allowed NEAR the nation’s finances. Treasurers are supposed to be upbeat about economies, not misery-guts them at every opportunity.

    The just can’t stop being an opposition, but now it seems it’s the nation they’re opposing.

    Education, child care workers, heckling GMH, insulting Indonesia, China, Timor and Papua New Guinea… when the f**k is it going to stop?

    It’s like St.John’s College gone feral.

  14. When was the next Federal election, again? This mob do not have the policies or personale to dig themselves out

  15. This little black duck

    This Saffa mob mob are live steaming as we type.

    [Nelson Mandela has died. Live coverage from eNCA]

  16. Nephew has finished with the Super Sport. Tlbd could likely hear the ‘bucket of Bolts’ on the move around Southern Cross Drive.

  17. It must have been a dream we all had.

    If those Leftist commie traitors at ABC TV Nightly News didn’t mention something about a Newspoll that found the government down 48-52, then it can’t have happened.

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