Louise Minchin on choosing the Christmas tree

Louise Minchin

Louise Minchin - Credit: Archant

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

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 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.

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