Christmas stories 4: the rubber plant

Yesterday I shared my third Christmas story, about the time, years before I was born, when someone forgot to buy a Christmas tree, and my rather tipsy granddad, dad and two uncles, like naughty boys, tried to acquire one. Christmas story 3 is of another moment of forgetfulness, but rather a brief tale. It was always the tradition in our family not to decorate the tree until Christmas Eve, now we do it about a week in advance – my daughter loves Christmas and loves all the decorations just as she did when she was a little girl.  Now we have a dog we don’t even have a real tree which is sad, but there would be just too much mess with fallen needles, so we have a modest sized artificial one, which still always has to have the two remaining glass baubles my Dad made.  He was a scientist and had to make some of his own equipment, and so when the family were hard up, or maybe because he did have an artistic streak, he made silvered glass baubles. ies

Twenty years later, and two hundred miles from Harston in Cambridgeshire, where the first Christmas tree had been forgotten, Don, Monica and their two daughters were living on Bleadon Hill near Weston-super-Mare. It was Christmas Eve and Monica’s oldest sister, Audrey and husband had arrived to spend the festive season with the family.
… and it was almost a re-run of that Christmas twenty years ago… Christmas Eve and no tree!
This time there was no trip to the pub – well there may have been later, but reason prevailed. The tale was told and laughed at, the pubs, stealing the branch, its mangled remains, the collapse in giggles of the women who’d waited so patiently for the men and tree to arrive…
No, this time, the ever-resourceful Monica pulled the giant rubber plant (ficus elastica) from its corner, tied ribbons round its pot and it was decorated instead, the one-armed fairy perching happily on the top.

A short story, but a very happy memory!

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