Monday, 30 November 2009

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN !!!! ..........

Well, we are now approaching December 1st, and, it's around this time that a deadly hush descends over our household .....
.......... Mr. Home starts to get a weird look on his face and his eyes glaze over and beads of sweat start to appear upon his forehead........ he opens his mouth and quietly utters those chilling words " It's that time again, isn't it ", he says in a very quiet voice.

I bury my head in my hands and quietly say, " Yes, I'm afraid it is ", and we peruse the calender for a time suitable for both of us to ...............................

It always has to be after work, therefore it is dark....VERY dark !! ..........

.......... and, it is invariably raining. It's either pouring with rain OR there has just been the worse storm of the year and everything is soaking wet and the wind is howling..........

.......... I am always wearing the wrong clothes, having been out for a Christmas lunch and then, running late, I don't have time to change ..........

.......... so, we arrive at the Garden Centre and, all of the trees are OUTSIDE, in the rain or freezing wind and we set about choosing THE ONE. We always have a seven footer so Mr. Home has to force his way to the back of the pile to pull out the one that I think could possibly be THE ONE, drag it out (remember, it's really wet) and hold it up, straight, for me to look it over. He has to turn it around, so that I can see it from all angles, until I tell him that it's not the one. This can go on for quite a while and we are getting soaked, me in my high heels and posh frock but, Mr. Home is sensibly dressed in waterproof coat.
Last year we had a bit of a disaster. I had spotted what I thought was a really good tree, but, just as we approached it, an elderly couple pushed in, grabbed it and proceeded to drag it to the netting machine. I was a little cross but, as luck would have it, I spied an even nicer one which was part of one of the displays. "Go and get that one " I told Mr. Home and, we both climbed onto the display, over some beautiful rusty railings and through some fake, decorated trees. Said tree was propped up in a zinc container. "Just pull it out" I said. Well, pulling it out was a bit of a problem. It seemed to be stuck. We pulled and we pulled and, the upshot was that the tree would not budge . It was caught on the railings. The railings all fell over like dominoes , knocking the artificial trees down. All of the decorations fell off of the trees and, three reindeer's of varying sizes made out of twigs, fell to the ground. Mr. and Mrs. Home were seen running as far away from the display as they could....AND...... I think that they have CCTV there !!!! We will try not to do anything like that this year. When we do find THE ONE, we have to go through the whole process again, on a slightly smaller scale, when we choose.......... .......... HOLLY and ...........

.......... MISTLETOE !!!!!!!!!!
I have to say that, after the tree has been chosen, we have a lovely time as, the Garden Centre that we go to is beautiful. There are always coach loads of people who come from all over the country and many foreign tourists who visit. They have the most wonderful Christmas display and, an outside ice-skating rink, where we sit, with a drink, and watch the skaters while we listen to Christmas carols.
I am hoping that, avoiding all disasters and divorce proceedings, that our tree will look something like the one above. I wish you a happy time, choosing your tree and hope you avoid any of the little mishaps that seem to happen to us, every year.


  1. Oh Jacqueline, this post is a classic. Your Mr. Home sounds absolutely wonderful! Enjoy all the hustle-bustle of the Christmas season!

  2. Dear Jacqueline,
    It's these Christmas stories that make our quilts so special and full of love. This is a patch of vintage velvet for of soft richness~

  3. Ha - Yes you do have to watch out for those elderly couples with sharp elbows!! Lovely images but your post is the reason I have our tree delivered to home each year. No garden centre or ice skating rink but also no disasters. xoxo

  4. Good evening,'re probably sleeping right now. hee hee. Anyway, I LOVE this post...quite classic and filled with warmth. Say...I'll take that blue umbrella! :)


  5. Great story and photos! it seems everyone has a tree story but we still do it every year. Here's to finding a wonderful tree this too.

  6. Oh this made me laugh! It's that time at my place too, although my experience was a bit calmer, thank goodness!! Have fun and wear flat shoes!

  7. Oh honey, this sounds like a script for a movie. Mr & Mrs Home's Christmas!

    I love the gorgeous photo's. I think it's lovely that you both choose the tree. Sounds like a fantastic place to go.


  8. Hi Jackie....
    I can just picture you in that frothy frock with those bright red heels picking out the perfect tree! Have fun!....somehow I think you always do!
    :) Laura

  9. Jackie you always manage to put a smile on my face! I do indeed hope you find the perfect tree!! The one above is beautiful!

    :) T

  10. sounds like our trip to pick out our tree! Hope yours is lovely and no disasters!

    Smiles~ Michelle

  11. Jackie ~ you just described one of our outings!! Last year he got lucky and we bought the first one I saw ~ it was perfect. The year before we bought one, brought it home, inside the house, I stand back and he says ~ it's no good is it? We lugged that one to my mother's place then off we went again on yet another search. I am so spoiled and fussy when it comes to trees. My Dad did it to me, one year he brought 3 into the house before I was satisfied. Good thing I married a patient man! xo

  12. Wow Jackie I didn't know picking out a tree could be such an experience. However, it's not my favorite part of the holiday scene. I never seem to be totally happy with my choice.
    This post was as delightful as all of your posts.
    Instead of borrowing your shoes this time...I just want to borrow Mr. Home in the first photo.

  13. I agree with our friend Dustjacket Attic! This does sound like a filmscript: Mr and Mrs Home Find a Tree. I hope you have no major mishaps this year. I am trying to figure out what to do because in the last two years I have developed a pretty severe allergy to evergreens. Last year I stubbornly insisted on buying one anyway, and I even strung the lights and hung the ornaments, only to become really sick. Sigh. I LOVE Christmas trees. Fake ones just don't cut it for me. I think I'll have to come up with a creative solution. Will let you know if and when I do! xoxo

  14. How absolutely, truly, deliciously delightful!
    Best of luck!!

  15. Here's to a stress free tree shopping trip for you both. That's why we went fake. Ah ha ha

  16. Oh Jackie,
    i love, love, love your story and the wonderful pictures!!! You make me smile in the early morning - thank you so much!!!!!!! Enjoy your christmas tree ;)) and have a wonderful week,

    Hugs Jade

  17. Jacki!
    You are so funny! The visuals you described had me laughing out loud with my McDreamy wondering what I was doing - ha!

    This year marks our first time ever choosing a Christmas tree (in fact, ever putting up our own tree!). We decided to begin our own traditions this year sans travel and extended family. Today was the day we picked out our 5 foot tree - a real beauty! McDreamy is rather a grinch this time of year, but his little green heart seemed to melt when he saw the crumb's excitement running through the rows of evergreens!
    Wishing you a fun tree escapade with high heels and all!

  18. Hello Jac - Clarke Griswald here. This post truly confirms what I've thought all along - YOU'RE ONE OF US!! So looking forward to getting to know y'all, we'll be arriving from the Excited States on Christmas Eve. Leave the Christmas lights to me, I'm the expert.
    Cheers your long-lost cousin Clarke.

  19. Oh Jackie, you always have the best posts. The best photos and stories. LOVE it! Happy December to you! I think I'm stealing one of your photos for my post tomorrow. Credit you for sure :) Lynn

  20. Your post made me laugh as it is very similar to when Mr FF & I bought a Christmas Tree here in France last year. It had to be the tallest, not too wide and very bushy.....not that I am fussy or anything. Both the garden centre owner and Mr FF were surprised when I found one that I liked within 30 minutes. We loaded it onto our trailer and drove slowly home. The worst thing was that we had to carry it up all the stairs to the dining room on the first floor as it was almost wider than the stairway.......

    This year we are having Christmas at our other house so I will try and select a smaller tree that is easier to carry.....

    L xx

  21. You blog is a true deligh and I glad I've found it. I will follow and visit often.
    All my very best.

  22. Dear Jackie - I remember those forays to the garden centre so looking forward to the outing this year, after all those Christmases in Oz spent trying to actually locate a 'proper' tree and having tracked down a usually half-wilted specimen, watching it dropping needles and drying and dying in the heat/air conditioning...
    Even picking one out in the rain is looking kind of appealing - happy decorating!! Love Susie x

  23. ...lovely atmosphere you have created with those photos...I just love the one with the guy sitting in such wonderful light...
    lots of love
    magdalena/Color Sepia

  24. Hi Jackie

    I've had such a giggle reading about your Christmas tree adventures. Will you be returning to the same garden centre this year, and if so, have you picked your disguise and have you worked out your tactics for outsmarting determined senior citizens? Leigh

  25. Great story and adorable images.. I simply adore your blog..

  26. Oh, that door decoration on your 1. image is so simple and so stylish.


  27. This is a BRILLIANT post Jackie, you are a genius....gorgeous images, very very funny and a bit of Christmas tree drama, I loved it!

    Where do you get your tree me and tell me if you want to share?! It sounds lovely. Our tradition is that my daughter and my husband go and buy it and then, provided it has passed ALL the necessary criteria (mine of course!) when it arrives home then we all decorate it and have hot chocolate....the children take it in turns to officially switch on the lights each year.

    It has happened that the tree has had to be returned and exchanged though....and one year when we were first married, we bought a tree that was the perfect shape but way too husband thought he could saw and shorten should have seen the was horrendous.....these were the days when we were newly married and there was nothing my husband wouldn't do to please me though!!! The tree ended up okay though...I think!!

    Happy December Jackie :) xoxo

    PS Loved reading everyone's comments, seems like everyone has a Christmas tree story, they are wonderful.

  28. no worries! if a problem arises, pour some more hot cocoa, and if you are wearing that totally cute red puffy dress, I don't think he'll all........and probably look for something to spat at......just to spice things up (at least that's how is)

  29. You're so good at entering into the spirit of things. I hope Mr Home is busy shopping for his equally busily blogging wife.

  30. Hi Jaqueline,

    I enjoyed your post very much. You story made me laugh out loud. You must have had so much fun together! I look forward to hearing this years story :)

    Before we can buy our tree, we have to celebrate 'Sinterklaas' first on the 5th of December. Just Can't wait!!!

    Have a lovely evening!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  31. Now you & Mr. Home behave yourselves picking out your tree this year! I would of been so tempted to trip the elderly couple as they trotted off with MY tree, but that I guess does not promote joy & peace. I love your tradition & I would so love to do exact that. I'm crazy for ice skating & what a fun time you could make of it. We have a big fat fake tree & it's just not as fabulous is it? It's so warm here that I'm afraid by Dec. 24th the needles would be all on the ground & not on my tree. I'll be thinking of you & have a twirl on the ice for your ole' American friend. Hugs xxoo

  32. You are too funny, Jackie!! :) This is EXACTLY why my hubs forbids the purchase of a real tree...because he knows that the story that you just described, would, in fact, be our very own. :) Happy tree hunting...and decorating!


  33. Hello
    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Good luck with your tree... I do not go with to pick out the tree, that is Mr Livings job - He usually gets a 11 footer and does quite well without me... I don't do the lights either... I just ohh and ahh and say good job Honey :)

  34. Wonderful story, made me laugh..! I used to take my kids up to the mountians to the Christmas tree farms and we had to be really sure it was THE TREE as we had to take the saw and cut it was always great fun, with hot chocolate provided.

    Now, I go get it myself and throw it on top of my car and haul it daughter and my guy help with the lights and decorating though.

    have a wonderful holiday season! xxoo

  35. Hi Jaqueline

    This is my first visit to your blog ... and what a treat!

    I've seen your name on quite a few of the blogs I follow ... so I thought I'd say hello.
    Absolutely loved this post!

    This is the first year we are not having a tree, as we are going home to Australia for Xmas ... your story sounds so familiar .. I'm going to miss the event this year!
    Happy tree hunting...

  36. That sounds like a wonderful holiday tradition! Have a lovely time preparing for December, and choosing your tree.

  37. Christmas is just around the corner! I can't wait!!
    Good luck with your tree! :-)

  38. This post is beyond funny. It offers us a little bit of everything: beauty, drama, marital discord, maybe even a crime. Who could ask for anything more.

    A seven foot tree? How magnificent. Will take pictures for us? If it will end up looking anything like the one we can glimpse above it will be your cadeau to us.

    Please do keep us au courant as you move up to and through the holidays. It would be a shame to miss your adventures.


  39. Great story ;) I agree it is a serious job to choose the right one... there must be some reconation.. Like yes that is her or him! I say her 'cos we have the strange habit to give the little thing a name.. we had a Barbara a Jack... last year lots of little ones and this year I am planning to adopt (Yeah call it adopting for 30 euros or so) a little not so perfect tree... Just for the good cause... asking myself already how to call it though haha...

    sleep well my rock & roll sister ;)

  40. Hi,
    The post is great the pictures are fab:)!It was fun to read;)

  41. Those are very good tree shopping shoes!!!very pretty though!
    We have all our trees on spiked stands so no one has to hold them up. Makes it easier that way...but not as funny to watch.
    Hope you find your perfect tree Jackie...but just remember their all beautiful when they get decorated!

  42. Brilliant story Jackie! I just loved it - you in your shoes, and Mr Home sweating in his sensible raincoat. But oh how worth the adventure this garden centre and these trees sound! I can't wait for this years update! What disguise will you be wearing?

  43. Hey Jacqueline
    How funny you are.. I can just imagine your antics knocking over store displays wearing your finest pretties. You would of been proud of me today.. I had a similar experience in a shop but luckily the staff just thought I was hilarious.

    Lots of gorgeous images here. The green doors are terrific and I really love the simple unadorned trees waiting for their owners too.

    Take care xx Julie

  44. What a delightful, dramatic story. We are about to go and buy ours too!

  45. Ohh I have got to get some mistletoe!!

  46. We are off to get our tree on exciting! I love your story today. I have a huge holly tree in my yard so will have plenty of that to decorate with. xoxoxo

  47. Love your story and sense of humor, Jackie. Have a wonderful weekend. xo

  48. Beautiful pictures! I'm happy I found your blog, now I can follow your Christmas preparitions in the UK. We live in the countryside and have our own forest. But it is still difficult to choose the very best tree!
    Greetings from Sweden!

  49. You must have a beautiful tree up and decorated by now Jackie....hope it was an uneventful buy, not like last year...xv

  50. The same to you...sweet jackie!
    With lots of joy and laughter and stressless, of course..;)))

    Me hugest hug is...yours!

  51. Great story. I especially liked that you were the one burying your head in your hands. In my world, it's my own Mr. who dreads it..holding each tree, turning them so I can see it from every side. Fantastic photos too.

  52. Aaaaah! The Christmas Spirit! Too funny to read your story;-))

    Happy December! Anne

  53. Jackie,

    What a wonderful story! I love last years blitz. I have always favored a real tree but this year we bought our first ever...artificial tree. assured that it looks as much like a real one as we could possibly find. Soon I will post pictures and you can judge for yourself?

    Great tale!


  54. Hi Jackie,
    first of all, thank you so much for all your dear comments and compliments. It is always a pleasure when you come along and leave some nice words. I loved to read your Christmas-tree story. That is realy the thing happening every single year. I am a very difficult tree-shopper. I love the thinner ones like serbian spruce or nordic spruce. But here in Germany the most people prefere the Nordmann-fir and so the traders mostly sell these trees. For my husbands pity, because he has to drive from one trader to the other till I have found my perfect spurce :0) Wish you a nice pre-Christmas time, Mira!

  55. Jackie...
    I´m smiling to myself, reading this post =).
    Can imagine the scenes, really....

    I hope you opened your early christmas present. But mostly, I hope you´ll enjoy it.
    I wanted to give you it, becuase you are you...

    I was at that christmas market, today, where Magdalena was selling her items...They are even more beautiful in real life, so I couldn´t keep away from having some...and if I had more money, I would have it all.
    I´ll make a post about it , soon.

    As for you, my friend, I hope you will feel the christmas spirit.
    Enjoy decorating your fabulous tree.


  56. this post was priceless... love your wonderful sense of humor! x pam

  57. Happy Sunday!! :)
    Don't miss a gorgeous giveaway next week on Sweet as a Candy!

  58. Oh what a funny story! I love it. Nice to know someone else gets banned from stores too! Do you know how many times I have had to change my haircolor just to revisit a place? I'm starting to run out of colors!

    Here is hoping that you find the perfect tree on a nice quiet night!

  59. Would it be too cruel of me to tell you that we bought the first and only tree we looked at this year?!? It was perfect! We were in and out in 7 minutes. True!
    Thank you for your sweet Thanksgiving note. I hope your holidays are off to a beautiful start!
    xxx kim

  60. hehehe that post was so funny, hope everything went ok with the tree collecting this year Lucey xx

  61. What a funny story about the tree, hoping that it goes a bit easier this Christmas hihi. This year, I and my husband get a fir tree in the big woods, we'll see how it will look like. Hugs to you / Ingela

  62. Just a quick note to remember you to check out the lovely Christmas Giveaway on Sweet as a Candy! Good Luck!

  63. So glad to be back and reading your post!!!!! Thank you for coming by whilst I was away! xx

  64. My first visit to your Blog and surely not the last! I enjoyed this post. Just lovely.