Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree, standing in the corner, sparkling and twinkling with the promise of presents underneath. But Christmas trees can be fraught with danger. There was the time a single pine needle got stuck in my bottom during my very first Christmas. Needless to say, I made quite a fuss, though it took the adults quite a bit of time to realise what the problem was. Then there was the time the Christmas tree fell on top of me. I guess I must have been about 5 years old. The tree was not decorated, but still standing on the place it usually stood and I was playing underneath it. For some reason, it fell over. I remember it as almost being fun, like being deep in a pine forest.
But these two escapades pale into insignificance compared to that of my husband and his younger brother when they were about 8 and 7. The Christmas tree was decorated and all ready for Christmas Eve. One of the decorations was a series of sparklers – yes that is right – sparklers. Not perhaps the safest of decorations, but fine when watched by careful adults I guess.
My husband and his brother managed to get hold of a box of matches, and yes, you’ve guessed it set fire to the sparklers, and at the same time, some of the other decorations. As the flames took hold, Karl and his brother started to shout ‘Mum! Mum! There’s a fire!’ My husband then ran into the kitchen, fetched a tea cup of water and poured it over the tree. You can imagine how effective that was. Anyway, order was restored by considerably more water than a little tea cup, and the terrible mess cleared up. Apparently, my husband’s brother’s comment at the end was ‘oh that is something to write in my diary!’. Quite.
So whatever else this Christmas, take care with the tree. You never know what could happen…..