Christmas with the Famous Five: “Oh Christmas tree”

December 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Anne, Aunt Fanny, George | Leave a comment

As in my London flat, the excitement builds in Kirrin Cottage as Christmas draws near. Even nasty tutor Mr Roland gets into the spirit and goes outside to dig up a little spruce fir tree before taking Julian, Dick and Anne into town to buy decorations as the Kirrins don’t have anything to put on the tree. I’m a little unclear as to why George’s homelife was quite so sad and deprived before her cousins appeared (this lends credibility to my Aunt Fanny-as-wartime-spy theory, methinks). Fanny is so homely that even if the family was poor they could have made do and managed a halfway decent Christmas (a bird from the family farm, holly, mistletoe and a tree from the garden).

Anyway, apart from the whole ‘George vs Mr Roland’ storyline, which will bring Christmas day to a downbeat end, things are looking up at Kirrin Cottage this Christmas: ‘Joanna the cook was busy baking Christmas cakes. An enormous turkey had been sent over from Kirrin Farm, and was hanging up in the larder […] There were boxes on the shelf in the sitting room, and mysterious parcels everywhere. It was very, very Christmassy!’

Most exciting of all, of course, is the Christmas tree:

‘Now it stood in the hall, with coloured candles in holders clipped to the branches, and gay shining ornaments hanging from top to bottom. Silver strands of frosted string hung down from the branches like icicles, and Anne had put bits of white cotton-wool here and there to look like snow. It really was a lovely sight to see.’

The Five wait until Christmas Eve before installing their tree, and the candles are not lit until after tea on Christmas day. While waiting for the tree does make it more special, I want the chance to fully appreciate the joy of the beautiful tree. This year’s tree was a bit bigger than expected, and came complete with mud and spiders, but looks very pretty now with glass baubles, crystal droplets and the odd bird or two.


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