This is of course 'traditionally' the time of year when burglers are at their most active. All those lovely pressies stowed at the bottom of the tree, (unless you're in Albert Square, then you get a Pauline Fowler under your tree.. sorry to those of you who either don't or can't watch the soap Eastenders.. actually you are the lucky ones!), nicely wrapped and ready to go. There is nothing more festive than a tree laden with presents and promise.
And so it was decided that we too would have a tree in the reception area, to give all those nice little offenders a warm and fuzzy glow when visiting, ahh! Carols and Christmas songs were playing daily in the lead up to the big event, everyone was getting into the spirit. Well for some the spirit of choice was whiskey, Morrisons own brand the cheapest they could get their hands on. Excitement all the way.
Wrong! Now it is obvious that the aforementioned offenders are possibly somewhat lacking in the braincell department, how else would they have ended up on our doorstep? But for some this is taken to the extreme, for example the young couple who having both completed their appointments with us decided that they liked our tree so much they would like it to adorn their own little 'des res'. They were caught on camera in a corner of reception attempting to take the tree apart and stash it under their coats. A little naughty on our receptionists' part to allow them to complete their little task before putting out the following security announcement;
"Any available officers to the reception area please, the Christmas tree is attempting to make off with two of our devine little offenders... it's carnage!"
On entering the reception, which by the way had the best alert response that I have ever seen, we were confronted with the sight of two rather embarrassed young people who did indeed look as though they had been attacked by the tree, the young man had the 'trunk' stashed down his trouser legs the stand jammed down the back of them and a branch up either sleeve. The young woman had numerous branchs and ornaments stowed about her person. Needless to say after being where the sun doesn't venture to shine, another tree was acquired.
Sadly this tree was also destined to meet a sticky end. Yes that would include the mop and bucket again, actually several mops and buckets, (for anyone not acquainted with that last reference read the entries entitled Life on the Mean Streets). And so it went on until finally it was decided that something else would have to be done, the poor reception staff couldn't face wrestling with anymore tree rustlers. Then a cunning plan was hatched. What could you get the morally challenged for Christmas? Presents of course, lots and lots of lovely presents, all beautifully wrapped and laid at the foot of the tree. And that it how I whiled away my spare time in the lead up to Christmas, I wrapped for England, you name it I wrapped it.. old telephone directories, a box of paperclips, (the rusty ones from the back of the stationary cupboard), empty toilet rolls, oh and a couple of old used mop heads, don't worry I did leave them to dry out nice and crusty before I wrapped them.
Oh how those little darlings loved our pressies, every night we'd creep down and leave our little stash at the bottom of the tree and every morning their little faces would light up at the sight of all that plunder. Well I guess it must have worked because no one attempted to make off with the tree again and they must have liked our pressies, because no one has come back to complain.
A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my blogging friends.