Yesterday was a momentous day in the Hinde household. After weeks of mental tennis over whether it’s acceptable to put your Christmas tree up in November, we finally rolled with it. At 3pm I ordered an artificial tree online from Next (love u, Click & Collect) and by 5pm my sceptical boyfriend had retrieved said tree and was on his way home with it.
At about the same time, I was on a train back from Telford, where I’d spent the weekend visiting my parents. During those two-and-a-bit hours of reflection (and mental decorative planning), I was warming up to the big moment like a human saucepan of mulled wine.
By 7pm, the saucepan had boiled over. The Christmas tunes were on (after a 10 minute battle with the speakers), the wine was poured and I was in the throes of spreading out the many, many branches of my new 6ft tree. (A note to readers who caught our fake vs real debate: I opted to go fake because... cats.)
I don’t know if now is a good time to say this, but I really love Christmas. And unlike a lot of people I know, I get more and more excited about it with every passing year. People look at me like I’ve grown a third head when I tell them.
Now I’ve admitted the tree is up, too, I’m met with a look of confusion followed by unadulterated disapproval. “I don’t support it. I can’t put my finger on it,” a colleague tells me. “I just find it too much.”
For my part, I’m unsure as to why it’s controversial. So controversial that my editor insisted I write about it. I know I’m definitely not alone in my choices. Instagram and, to a lesser degree, Twitter are like one big statement of solidarity for early Christmas fans. And I’m 100 per cent here for it.
My argument for the early tree construction is: well, I’ve no reason not to.
Twinkling lights fill me with joy, at any scale. So do Christmas pop-ups and the festive food aisle in the supermarket. It all contributes to making me feel like a child again and it also makes me forget – for a second, at least – all the stresses of adult life (of which there are plenty this year). No one mention the B word.
There are some practical reasons, too. I’ve got a calendar that’s jam-packed, meaning less time to sit at home and marvel at my tree, and I’m having friends over for festive drinks on Friday (can’t not have the tree up for that, can I?)
You can also blame an impromptu – and ridiculously giddy – trip to T K Maxx on Sunday where I purchased what is quite possibly the ugliest tree decoration ever to be manufactured (below left). My mum and I saw it, spent a good 10 minutes laughing and then agreed I had to buy it for LOL purposes. What else was I supposed to do next if not purchase a tree to go with it and send her the pics? Good times all round.
Growing up with divorced parents, it was always tradition that we’d wait until the first weekend of December to put the tree up at my dad and step mum’s house (sometimes I got to help with that). At my mum and step dad’s, the tree would go up on the second or third weekend (I always got to help with that).
But then the month would whizz by and I’d be desperately sad at the end of it when it was time to take both of them down.
What is a Christmas tree if not a beacon of loveliness, signalling a month of seeing your friends and family, and eating as if you’ll never see food again? Why wouldn’t you want that joy in your life for as long as was socially acceptable?!
Anyway, now I’m an adult I make the rules (muhahaha), so Christmas in November it is.