Being born in the late fifties I have few recollections of that austere decade, almost all of my earliest memories are from the brasher, brighter and less restrained sixties.
As a result my early memories of Christmas are of a bright and sparkly time when paper chains and the watery colours of paper stars, bells and balls were being replaced by foil and tinsel.
Hence the Silver Tinsel Christmas Tree, looking back it was a quite unspectacular specimen of a tree compared to what’s on offer nowadays, but we loved it.
It stood less than 5 feet tall with its fold down tinsel covered wire branches tipped with red beads to symbolise berries.
However by the time Dad had worked his not inconsiderable magic and covered it with every size, shape and shade of bauble, glass birds with feathered tails, lantern lights, strands of brightly coloured tinsel, chocolate treats and tiny crackers lain on the branches it was transformed and was absolutely stunning,
It was the only tree I ever knew until my teenage years came to an end when in the mid-seventies I suggested we have a real tree just for a change.
I would never have suggested it if I had realised that it would signal the death knell of the Silver Tinsel Tree as the following year it was replaced by a green plastic tree more akin to those of today.
After my Dad died a few years later the task of decorating the tree fell to me I realised sadly that I hadn’t inherited his tree dressing skill and was never able to equal him.
I came close one year, in 1983 but I think in the end I merely flattered to deceive, the task has fallen to my wife for the past 24 years, she makes a far better fist of it then I ever could.
Whether she possesses the necessary skill to transform a Silver Tinsel Tree however we will never know.