It took 'hours of silent expletives, hair tearing and borderline tears' but we now have a Christmas tree - Jill Thorp

There was much dragging of the feet, mutterings and slumped shoulders as I ushered John-William through the school gates on Monday morning.

Jill Thorp had some issues when it came to buying a Christmas tree

Despite endless protestations about the few dried up little blisters left behind from his bout of chicken pox, he was definitely well enough for school.

He’d thoroughly enjoyed his week off school, new stunts had been performed on his bike, more sheep marked up for the tup and lots of pocket money earnt. We’d decided to beat the weekend rush and headed to our garden centre last Friday in search of a Christmas tree.

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To our surprise, however, we discovered the crowds had been the previous weekend and there were only a few trees left to pick through. A giant towering spruce stood proudly as we got out of the car, whilst several netted trees lay around, all awaiting a home.

There were no six footers left, all gone, just a handful of seven to eight footers including the monster tree out of its netting and now, I noticed being heavily admired by my son.

I had a quick look through what was left and with a rather annoyed reluctance concluded that we’d have to go elsewhere. John-William wasn’t for moving though and continued to stroke the tree whilst smiling his best most pleading smile.

Despite explaining to him that his chosen tree would not fit in our house, in fact not even through the front door let alone in my car, I knew the battle was lost.

Being sat in miles of traffic has made me realise farmers are being made scapegoats over the environment crisis - Jill ThorpThe Yorkshire farm shop where you can swap your home grown fruit and veg for their produceSeveral hours of silent expletives, hair tearing and borderline tears, the tree was in, but wedged at 45 degrees, several feet of upper branches bent and scrunched under the wooden latted ceiling of our sitting room.

Several feet of trunk were hacked off and the stand fitted with the assistance of a large hammer and the tree was eventually upright. John-William stood back, hands on hips admiring his tree whilst I sat amongst a pile of pine needles, severed limbs and sawdust.

Scrooge appeared home later that evening and began his annual rant on the pointless and unnecessary expense that Christmas brings. Thankfully, John-William and I have festive spirit in abundance which balances out his grumpiness.

A Fairytale of New York tends to drown out his anti-Christmas mutterings and by the time our annual party rolls around, he’s usually cracking a smile. The house is starting to look slightly more presentable after weeks of de-cluttering.

Beneath the Bruder toys, classic tractor magazines and endless movement licenses, we actually have carpet and quite a nice home. The skip that has sat in our yard for the last few weeks has gone.

At the weekend a huge banquet of highly calorific food will be laid out in our dining room and we will see how many of our friends and family we can cram into our home.

As our Christmas tree takes up more than its fair share of space, I expect this year’s party will be quite a squeeze but at least it will put a smile on the scrooge’s face!