The Christmas tree may be a jolly festive symbol, but beware! It can make you ill .. or ILL, as the good old Mail puts it. I’ve just discovered today that there’s something called ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’ …
This year’s tree wasn’t from the usual local garden centre, but from Padget’s, near Easingwold, after I saw their ad in The Press. It had just been cut and arrived from the nearby plantation as we were trying to choose one. As fresh as could be. Its branches were already decorated with the dead leaves of nearby deciduous trees, and, as we later realised, occupied by around 20 hibernating ladybirds. These emerged, brought out by the warmth of the house, while the tree lay in the hallway, and were carefully collected up and relocated in a suitable hibernating spot in the back garden.
Even after 40-odd Christmases, there’s still something magical about bringing a whole tree into a building. (I briefly tuned into the royal wedding in April this year, despite myself, only because I heard that they’d put trees inside Westminster Abbey.)
I’m sitting next to ours, watching a 1982 edition of The Two Ronnies. And thinking of dear friends in Christchurch, New Zealand, raising a glass of NZ Sauvignon Blanc to their good health. And yours. Happy Christmas.