Our magic Christmas tree

I should know by now, but it still takes me by surprise. Our tree sheds no needles! But then it doesn’t emit that lovely ‘green’ smell either. Yet it’s not an artificial tree… Ok, I didn’t exactly cut it down myself from it’s natural habitat in the Finnish forest, like we used to do in my childhood. No, it’s been grown at a tree plantation in France, and then shipped by container to Congo.

Casino had a total of 40 trees shipped to Brazzaville. The rest of the trees sold here are all Chinese-made plastic versions. Not sure which is worse from a sustainability perspective, but I do know that neither is good. But we have one nevertheless, together with a bad conscience. Seeing our daughter busy decorating the tree while listening to her favourite Christmas songs is really why we still have a tree.

But before decorating the tree there was the debate about whether to give it water or not. Hmm… our daughter thought it wouldn’t be any point given that the tree already has sailed the high seas in a container all the way from Europe to Pointe Noire and then continued the last bit by road to Brazzaville, presumably all the while without water. Whereas I was in favour of watering just in case the tree would still be able to absorb even a little bit – who knows what wonders a fresh cut can do?

We went with the ‘just in case’ scenario, and even remembered to add vinegar to the water too. While living in Barbados I learnt that this is an excellent way of preventing mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the tree stand. Otherwise the stand doubles up as a mosquito hatcher and we don’t want that. There’s enough of those little mozzies buzzing around as it is!


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