I went up to my Mum`s for lunch today, and she started to reminesce about her early married life...... she and my Dad married when she was 17, and my brother was born when she was 21.
Mum and Dad`s first married Christmas was in a pit house in a mining village in South Wales.
The Mines owned a large number of houses, and rented them out to the pit workers. (My Dad worked underground digging coal, a dangerous and unhealthy job which precipitated health problems which eventually killed him, but that is another story.)
Mum and Dad could not afford to buy a Christmas tree, so Dad went out into the woods, cut a huge branch off a holly tree, and filled a bucket of frozen earth from the garden to put it in.
Mum decorated the tree with a few precious blue glass baubles, and they sat on the sofa, admiring their "tree" all evening.
The next morning, to Mum`s horror, the tree was on the floor and the glass baubles all smashed.
Dad hadn`t thought about what would happen if the branch was wedged in frozen earth which was then left overnight in a room with a coal fire ! Once the earth de-frosted, the bucket was full of mushy mud which couldn`t support the weight of the branch, and disaster struck.
As Mum said, life was tough then, but they appreciated every material possession they owned, and were thankful for them........