Apparently there is a Christmas tree shortage here this year. My husband has discovered this while trying to get the trees for the Church. (this is all seeming a touch surreal to me – first baby Jesus goes missing, then we have Christmas tree problems . . .) We are also in need of a tree for ourselves. This is all fitting perfectly with our current Vicarage trend of every simple task turning into a complex and time-consuming problem. Cue lots of ‘phone calls to tree growers (we had a Christmas tree festival last year so we have a list of growers and retailers – just as well it wasn’t this year!), and visits to retailers within tree-carrying distance (we have a small car, you see). The result: my husband has finally managed to buy three 6-foot trees for the church (we wanted two 8-footers – I think he is reasoning that this averages out the same!*), and I managed to get a 7-foot tree for our home (if there had been two 7-footers anywhere they would have gone to the church). The really good news is that hmy husband managed to get the trees for the church delivered, and only had to carry the 7-footer home.
I had a rather romantic notion that it would be nice to carry the Christmas tree home with snow falling around. Not realistic at all: our weather has been mainly mild and very rainy, we have had only two frosts so far this month. White Christmasses are exceptionally rare in London (something like three in the last hundred years). Apparently the idea of a British white Christmas is a bit of a Dickens invention. For the first eight years of Charles Dickens’ life, Christmas was unusually cold with snow. When he wrote his Christmas Carol he seems to have been looking back to his childhood weather conditions rather than the then prevailing milder climate. The success of A Christmas Carol has encouraged us to look for a white Christmas in London where we are even less likely to have one than to find a pair of 8-foot Christmas trees for sale!
*only it doesn’t, of course, as my husband gleefully pointed out amongst gales of laughter! (oops!)