Have you trimmed up yet?

27 November 2014

One of our contributors Kate discusses a hot topic, trimming up! How soon is too soon?

“In my past I have most definitely been the Scrooge-like person guffawing and rolling her eyes at the premature twinkle of a fairylight in the window of a steamy terraced house. Now being the lucky homeowner of said slightly damp terraced house, how the tables have turned! I am positively overflowing with Christmas glee!

T’was the night before the twenty fourth of November and I could contain my excitement no longer! The Christmas tree  (slightly mouldy in fact), the vintage Mr. Men lights and the nativity manger my Grampa made for me when I was 9 all came tumbling down from the attic.

It was while I was dancing around in a tinsel-trance to The Pogues that my partner in crime muttered possibly the most shocking statement of 2014 as he untangled a particularly defiant string of gold beads…“English people don’t even say trim up.” Once  I had recovered from this bombshell I launched into a tirade; saying “putting up the decorations” just isn’t the same! You could be decorating anything! This got me thinking, where did this saying come from? And how soon is too soon to “trim up”?

After some careful, popular search engine based research I can precariously conclude that the term “Trimming up” potentially does originate in these very hills. I can find no mention of it online and after some careful interrogation of Swansea based colleagues who had also never heard the term, it must be a Rhondda-ism! Get Collins on the phone, we want it added to the dictionary!

And as for the rules and regulations regarding dates well, again, the results are inconclusive. In the past people thought it was unlucky to put up your tree before Christmas eve. People usually wait for December at least before decking the halls. So why has our nation, or indeed just our valley, become obsessed with increasingly early decorating? In some American towns and cities Christmas is a fiercely competitive time as parodied in the popular classic “The National Lampoons Christmas Vacation”. Is this need to out-do our neighbours seeping into our streets? I’m not so sure.

I’d like to think it’s because we Valley people are a cheery bunch who want to celebrate a season that is rooted in family, friends and making each other happy; either that or it’s because we’re wishing our lives away, eagerly awaiting the end of 2014! Whichever way you look at it, whether you’re a “Bah Humbug-er” or a trim up on the 23rd of November type of person you have to admit, the frosty mornings, cheery atmosphere and childish anticipation of Santa Claus is endearing; and even if you’re still sticking to your grumpy guns and hating the festive season at least there will be plenty to eat.

Let us know your thoughts and send your festive pictures to us at hello@rhonddapeople.com

I’ll enjoy sifting through them whilst drinking hot chocolate out of my Father Christmas mug! And by the way Kris Kringle, if you do happen to be reading this, I really have been very good this year!”

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