I had a conversation with some friends at work the other day about real Christmas trees. We decided that the point at which you buy your first real tree for your own home (with lights and baubles and everything) is the point at which you feel truly grown up.
So — at the age of 34 — I am finally an adult. In my previous homes, I was either not around for Christmas, so there didn't seem much point in getting a tree, or I didn't have enough space for one. Our last flat was so small that we could only fit in our 'flat-pack' tree. This was an outline of a tree, made from wire and woven with sparkly gold twigs. It was slightly more attractive than it sounds, but its main virtue was that we could store it under the bed for the rest of the year.
This year we have plenty of space and we're at home for Christmas, so I went and chose my first proper tree. Homebase isn't the most glamorous of settings for such a rite of passage, but it was close enough that I could walk there. Striding home with 1.4 m1 of prime Nordmann fir on my shoulder made me feel rather prehistoric for some odd reason. Not that Palaeolithic people had much use for Christmas trees. I can just picture the conversation:
[Palaeolithic woman, returning to cave] See, husband, I bring a freshly slaughtered Nordmann fir to our cave. The chase was long and arduous.
[Palaeolithic man] Ah, we will feast for many moons on the tender green needles.
1 I'm only 1.57 m tall myself.