Louise Minchin

As the fes­tive sea­son com­mences, the BBC pre­sen­ter looks for­ward to a much-loved fam­ily tra­di­tion

Cheshire Life - - Inside -

Ev­ery year, with­out fail, dis­cus­sions about what style of Christ­mas tree we are go­ing have be­gin weeks be­fore the fes­tive sea­son. We love Christ­mas, and dec­o­rat­ing the tree is one of our high­lights, but it is not with­out con­flict. All four of us have a dif­fer­ent opin­ion on the height, the width, the fuffy-ness of the branches - as well as the colour and style of dec­o­ra­tions.

Choos­ing the tree is a se­ri­ous business, and be­cause only two of us can fit in the car with it squashed in the boot, we have a fam­ily con­fer­ence about who is go­ing to be hon­oured with the

‘With Michael Bublé singing Christ­mas songs in the back­ground, we hap­pily set about plac­ing the lights with painstak­ing pre­ci­sion’

re­spon­si­bil­ity of buy­ing it. When we have de­cided on the cho­sen two, they then have to prom­ise to take on board that par­tic­u­lar year’s agreed spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

If I am the one wait­ing for the grand ar­rival, I will scrab­ble about in the at­tic and bring down the boxes of dec­o­ra­tions that we have col­lected over many years, and spend ages untangling the jum­bled birds-nest of fairy lights, which ap­pear to be knot­ted by elves, de­spite my an­nual ef­forts to put them away neatly.

Scar­lett and I are the ones with most pa­tience for dec­o­ra­tion and, with Michael Bublé singing Christ­mas songs in the back­ground, we hap­pily set about plac­ing the lights with painstak­ing pre­ci­sion, get­ting prick­led by pine nee­dles in the process. With­out fail, when we are nearly fin­ished, David will breeze in and tell us it is not quite right, and we have to start all over again! Like­wise, when we get down to the last few of our cho­sen baubles, Mia will sud­denly ap­pear and tell us one side has too many dec­o­ra­tions, the other too lit­tle, and we should change the bal­ance of the colour scheme. To suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate the tight-rope of fam­ily pol­i­tics, we nor­mally mutter a bit amongst our­selves, and then do al­most ex­actly what she says.

Just writ­ing about it makes me smile and look for­ward to this year’s Christ­mas tree week­end. It has be­come a won­der­ful tra­di­tion, and a re­minder what be­ing a fam­ily is all about – team­work, tricky ne­go­ti­a­tions and some­how be­ing able to find a way to all agree and be happy in the end.

Happy Christ­mas ev­ery­one.

ABOVE: Peace, love, joy and fes­tive socks; ev­ery­thing you need this Christ­mas

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