© 2011 Becca. All rights reserved. Rudolph

Killed Scrooge, would marry a reindeer

I confess, it’s been a while and work was entirely to blame. A lot happened, enough said. More to the point and the latest title, during my sad blog down time I developed a fairly serious penchant for all things tinsel and pine. Cost wise it might have spiralled into spanking new kitchen realm, were it not for ebay and the wonderful ‘Google Shopping’ developer nestled somewhere in sunny California.

It all started with a tree. 12 feet of spiny, green, pine cone infested Christmas joy! Enter the morons at B&Q. Coupled with possibly the daftest pricing structure any store has ever put to use; two labels, both reading the same price. If you must purchase a 12ft artificial Christmas tree from the ‘home of unbeatably confusing prices’, add all the labels you can find on the twigs together to establish a final cost. Alternatively enter their 12 Days of Christmas competition to win yourself a free tree and lights! This only just forgives the pricing nonsense B&Q.

With all the labels multiplied B&Q’s special was as monstorously expensive as it was wide. Many evenings, and a cached 2008 page of Martin Lewis’ moneysavingexpert, later Tesco and I were reunited over some Thai tree branches, a snip at £60 for 14ft! The link on Mr Lewis’ wonderful website worked, despite its age and my inability to find the deal on any of Tesco’s current Christmas pages. Never underestimate the value of a link!

The wonder that is the Christmas tree went up on the 3rd November. Just to check it actually fitted in its allocated space (just)! And was finally assembled and dressed on 28th of the same month. The 12 days of Christmas nonsense is far too short when your tree takes a full 12 hours to construct, wedge and tie into position.  The living room had to wait it out until the 2nd December for its tree, but worth the wait for a real, dark racing green Nordic Fur. Finally the box of smashed tiles left over from my short foray into the ceramic trade came into use, tipped into a large Ikea plant pot successfully wedging tree two (almost) straight. Finished with a healthy measure of the Council’s finest vintage, my plant is a happy festive camper, filling one corner with sparkly gorgeousness.

15 metres of garland, 8 metres of silk ribbon, 300 silver baubles, one 50cm wreath base, 25 paperchase-special balls, nine sets of white lights, three gold stars, 6 metres of tinsel, 37 hand-cut paper snowflakes, 16 extra large baubles (best charity shop purchase ever, bar none), five of Largs’ finest Candy Canes and one reindeer completed the Christmas décor for 2011.

Where to get it all? Start with Tesco, and try the rest of the supermarkets for the cheapest light strings around. Sainsburys’ £1.50 white lights are powered by watch batteries and ideal to intertwine with garland if you are a little too far from a plug point. Ebay matched me with the cheapest lengths of pine garland and coloured silk ribbon. Silver baubles borrowed – read stolen nay recycled – from parents or purchased at bargain prices from a local charity shop are a nice alternative to brand new shop bought balls. For an increased p&p wholesellers supplying the retail market will sell anyone bells and whistles and the cheapest by far are the awesome DZD of London. Giant boiled sweets? Extra large wooden stars? Furry pink tinsel – look no further.

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