I suppose that I should be getting into the spirit of the festive season by now. But as a famously frugal and splendidly single fifty-something with no children, my run up to ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ is not so much a run up than a hop, skip and a jump.

This laissez faire lateness extends to decorating the casita. No matter how I try to spin it, the accumulated dust of November does not count as Christmas decoration, so I will grudgingly  pull out the tinsel and hang a few stars around the place.

Then there is the tree. I do have a Christmas tree, but it is six inches high. This is due to several factors. Firstly, the thought of buying and then transporting a real tree down my track – which, by the way, managed to snap the anti-roll bar on the ‘indestructible’ Land Cruiser clean in two last month. My mechanic just shook his head and laughed.

Grinch film publciity poster
Giles is not feeling particularly festive

I also have a little festive PTSD when it comes to trees. Several years ago, the Italian girl I was seeing, insisted that we stuck with Italian tradition and buy one the Saturday before Christmas. The whole experience at the commercial centre resembled a disaster movie where desperate crowds fight to flee a city before the meteor hits. Stuck for hours in a huge traffic jam trying to leave the car park, I too, was praying for a direct asteroid strike to put me out of my misery.

The other reason that I don’t have a traditional tree is due to the menagerie at home. Fifty Shades the cat regards the Christmas tree as either a multipurpose activity centre, or as a fearsome enemy that must be vanquished. Either way, “it’s going down”. Normally with a loud crash of baubles and fairy lights at 3 a.m.

And after my newly acquired hound, Buli, decided to, ahem, ‘Creatively Decorate’ the kitchen floor with his own deposits, I am not letting him anywhere near a tree!!!

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