A few years ago, our local church hosted a Christmas Tree Festival as a fund-raising event. Local groups, schools, charities, clubs, etc, were invited to decorate a tree on a theme. The church is then opened to the public, who pay a small entry fee to look around at what all the groups have come up with. They put on a variety of entertainments across the weekend too.
It went well apparently, because they now seem to have made it an annual event. (I’ve noticed that a lot of other churches are doing it too, so it probably is a successful concept).
The first year, it wasn’t too difficult to get inspiration – we’re bell-ringers, so it’s not too hard. But there’s a limit to the number of times you can recycle the same old idea – and the same materials – there’s also a limit to the number of people involved, and our poor old brains get a bit rusty.
So, this year, my friend and I rather went into denial. Until last week, when, a bit like having to do all your homework on a Sunday night, it became too urgent for us to ignore any longer.
Last night, we went to the church, armed with my mum’s old artificial tree, a bucket load of tinsel and as many Quality Street chocolates, stapled to ribbon as we could carry. (Oh, there are chocolate mice and oranges too).
We had decided that it was too early to condemn a real tree to death, and if we were going to use the artificial tree, it had better be a very over-the-top production.
We arrived to find that the organiser had given us a very prominent position, beneath the tower and very close to the altar. Well, we were distressed. If we’d known they were going to put us there, I think we might have given it a bit more effort. So, we demurely asked the organiser if someone with a rather more attractive tree, would like to change places.
Happily for us, there were plenty of people more than willing to take centre stage, so we were reallocated, around the side of the crossing, behind a large and very old pillar. Phew, what a relief.
We did our best. I’m afraid the light was difficult, so the pictures are awful, but actually, it looked quite respectable. Very twinkly, which is I think, the way Christmas trees should be.
It wasn’t until we finished and I had a close look at the pillar, that I realised we’d put the tree up, right in front of some old medieval graffiti. It’s something that people who like this sort of thing, come to see. We feel a bit guilty that we’ve temporarily obscured the view.
Well, we did our bit, but I do hope that someone has a bit more inspiration next year.