My Christmas Tree has become quite well known over the years. I confess in 2014 I didn’t put it up. I was so depressed that Christmas, all I did was put up the fairy lights which I bought to replace broken ones, not realising they weren’t long enough for the tree. I sellotaped them behind my bed and up the side of the sloping wall on Christmas Eve in the hopes of cheering me up.
And I never took them down.
Last year, my Mum asked me to put my tree up in the living room. It was just the two of us for Christmas, and on the 27th December she was heading to visit her best friend in Oklahoma. Any time she’s gone to spend Hogmanay in Oklahoma she has refused to put her own decorations up.
The reason my tree gets attention is due to the way I decorate it. You see rather than tinsel and baubles, the branches get adorned by tiny woollen hats that I started collecting in 2004.
I suffer from S.A.D. – I think most people do to some extent. I get it fairly badly, and I finally got a sun clock last year. As soon as the nights start drawing in I start crying. I hate being cold and can go for days without going outside. I suffer from insomnia and at times become so sleep deprived my brain turns to mush. I’ll forget what day of the week it is and have been known to find my belongings in weird places (a particularly strange moment was finding my phone charger with the leftover remnants of a honey and spice cake in a tupperware box).
The hats were part of a campaign to raise money for the elderly that used to be held every November/December by Innocent Drinks. It was originally called Supergran, then became known as The Big Knit. Those little hats would cheer me up just as things started to get really bad. I’d collect them throughout November – the highlight of my week would be picking out the perfect hats on bottles of smoothies.
In 2014, after a really crappy 5 months of unemployment no hats arrived in November. I haven’t collected any since as there is little incentive to get them in February and have nowhere to put them until December!
This year, I find myself in the same place. Two years of depression has left my room in quite the state. I have piles of stuff everywhere, and no energy or motivation to go through it all, mainly because I know there’s nowhere for it to go. There’s nowhere for the tree to go. Where it used to be placed is where a bookcase now lives (since 2014 I’ve acquired 3 additional bookcases in this room. One was meant to be for my vinyl – it has been overtaken by university textbooks and all many books I bought for work that used to reside in my old office).
I know I should just take a day and clear some space, put up the tree. But honestly, I think not having any new hats to be excited about putting on it has made me kind of ‘meh’ about it.
But I should do it. Because this tree has always made me smile. I love my little hats. I know that seeing it makes people laugh (at me, or with me?). And there’s something about the fact that it’s not a picture perfect catalogue Christmas tree that makes it feel just right. Because I’m someone who like comfort, colour and cosiness over sophistication!
I haven’t managed to do it yet, but perhaps I will put it up over the weekend.
We’ll see. 🙂
P.S. There are some new additional fairy lights out – I might get more so each bookcase has some!