No need to remind anyone that Christmas is upon us. And the time of year when the end of bonfire night and firework celebrations signal the race to throw up the Christmas decorations. We would harangue mum and dad to get the tree and the ceiling streamers up at the beginning of December. In fact they never really went up until around the 5th.
Back then in my childhood, Blutak didn’t exist and so ceiling streamer decorations would be attached to the corners of the room with drawing pins – this would mean that after Christmas, the ceiling would need to be re-painted to hide the pin holes – sticky tape just never worked and on the odd occasion it was tried it just pulled more paint away…
The best bit though was the Christmas tree. Tinsel, baubles, advent chocolates and lights.
These days Christmas tree lights can be purchased a reasonable cost and can have multiple settings; flashing, blinking, fading in, fading out, etc… Our lights lasted for years and we had the same tree for just as long; it no doubt became more ragged as the years passed, nevertheless, it was so exciting! Our lights had two settings, constant and flashing. They plugged straight into the wall with no other control than the wall plug, and they would heat up so much that they would never be left on when we all retired to bed or went out of the house.
One of the toughest jobs was to ensure that the lights were untangled. No matter how much care was taken when they were taken down and stored away after each season, when they reappeared, they were always in knots. We had spare multi-coloured bulbs too but the most important was the ‘flasher’.
As excitement grew during the nestling of lights into branches, our little lungs held in breath for the big switch on! Only one question on our lips though, “Dad, dad! Have you got the flasher?”
“Yes I’ve got the flaming flasher!”
Never sure what’s worse, self assembly furniture or putting up a Christmas tree!? Well worth it though…