Christmas time. A time for giving. A time for getting. A time for forgiving and for forgetting. Christmas is love. Christmas is…
Only, hold it, Cliff. It’s also a time for arguing. Big old festive ding-dongs. No wonder, really, with so many different takes on The Perfect Christmas.
What to eat…when to eat it… if ever to stop.
Elf on the shelf? Church and no merch?
Then the booze, the games, the telly. Relationship choices, lifestyle choices, hair choices. Fights over that top you borrowed in 1996.
And the big one, the merry heavyweight battle… Christmas tree – real or fake?
As with most arguments in my house, I am 100 per cent right on this one.
It’s got to be real. I mean, would you give someone a dozen red plastic roses on Valentine’s Day? If you would, don’t.
Some things are worth doing right. And a real tree brings magic to a room. Cuteness and class. A proper festive smell.
I LOVED heading off to pick ours with my sisters when I was little – it was the official start to Christmas.
There’s something special about going to choose your own, wrapping up in a coat, scarf and hat and marching off to um and ah over the optimum pointy branch to stick a star. You don’t get that fuzzy festive feeling scrabbling around a dark loft digging out a dusty box, do you?
Last year, I took my little humans, Bryce and Elin, then six years and six months old, to Bellasize Trees to get ours.
We picked the perfect Saturday to do it – one when their dad was working. You see, he was determined to get a fake one. I got a lugful of the “using it again”, “saving money” blah-dee-blah. But Christmas comes but once a year. And it’s magical for kids for only a handful of those. Oh and I’m RIGHT.
So, we set off in the car for Bellasize Trees and the twinkly barn near Gilberdyke, which is packed with pre-cut and pot-grown Yorkshire trees.
Bellasize does the three big boys – kicking off with the conical Nordmann fir, which is Britain’s current favourite, a low-maintenance option that keeps hold of its needles for longer. It does not have much of a smell but its needles are smoother, so a good choice if you have kids or pets likely to dive headfirst into it.
Then there are Fraser firs, which have a more narrow base, so ideal for smaller spaces. This is the popular one in America – it has a delicious smell. A 10/10 on the Yuletide sniffometer.
It also does the Norway Spruce, which is your classic British tree. It’s bright green and bushy. Expect more needles to hoover up compared to firs but you will get a lovely fragrance.
While we were there, we got to pose in front of a giant festive frame to capture the moment/my victory and we also stuffed our faces with chocolate. A strapping bloke came to my rescue and put our tree in the boot, as I had a baby strapped to my body at the time. Bonus.
Bellasize Trees is open for Christmas business from November 23 and you can check out its Facebook page for special events and festive food stalls at the barn. The guys there deliver, too, and sell gorgeous wreaths and stands.
So there’s no need to fake it.
Kay Harrison, @Badgardenersclub