With me and Arthur heading up to London this weekend, we realised we were going to have to get our tree organised early if we were to have any hope of having it up before the middle of December. That might not have been a problem in the past, but what with it being only Arthur’s second ever Christmas, and the first where he’s really beginning to be aware of what’s going on, we are keen to make the most if it.
Preparations began on Thursday morning, with a perfectly timed session at Music with Mummy in which Arthur and his friends read a book about choosing the perfect tree (well, Carol read it to them – and of course Arthur was straight in her lap as soon as he got the whiff of a story).
Then we all sang a song about decorating the tree, and there was even a little tree to decorate!
So Arthur knew something of what to expect when, that afternoon, we headed to Marldon Christmas Tree Farm. We got our tree from there last year as well, and it really is quite an experience from the moment you turn into the fir-lined drive.
They had only just opened for general business that day so not everything was up and running, but the main attractions were very much in place. I was all set to spend a while umming and ahhing over the perfect tree, but as soon as we were directed towards the ones that fitted our criteria (6 foot-ish with non-drop needles) Leigh made a beeline for one he said was calling to him. He’s half Canadian, you see.
It it was a very beautiful tree, and Arthur seemed to approve. Whilst Leigh was arranging to get it all packed up, we thought we’d better go and have a look at some of the others anyway. Arthur had great fun weaving between the trees, camouflaged perfectly by his jacket and adding to his disguise by picking up fallen branches along the way.
He was fascinated by the whole process of getting the tree ready to transport too – watching as it was trimmed and wrapped and more than a little confused when it was strapped to the top of our car.
We were just about to head home when I remembered the reindeers. They’d only just arrived from the North Pole, and weren’t strictly ready for visitors, but we were told we could take a little stroll down to say hello if we really wanted to. I didn’t need any persuading!
Arthur toddled off between the trees, still clutching his branch and stopping every so often to smell the fragrant leaves that lined his route. We could hear the reindeer calling in the distance, their voices getting louder and louder. And then we saw them.
They are such beautiful animals, and I could have watched them for hours. But darkness was rapidly approaching so after a quick chat we headed back towards the car as the moon rose above the trees.
It was a magical little adventure, and the perfect start to the festive season. We will definitely go back to the farm over the next few weeks once things are up and running – there’s a German market I’m looking forward to exploring, and we’ll have to let Arthur have a ride on the land train to see how the reindeer are settling in. There was something very special about being there right at the beginning too though, when there weren’t so many people around and it almost felt like we had the place to ourselves.
And as for the tree? Well that’s pretty magical too. It looks a little bigger in our lounge than amongst its friends – we might have got just a little carried away… But it’s going to look incredible all lit up and decorated – I can’t wait to dig out all our sparkly supplies when we get home next week!