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    Last year my son went to the UK to his his masters in Law. He came back during the Christmas holidays. He said that he had bought an Xmas tree . I had expected a colourful tree resplendent with trinkets and baubles. What emerged from the suitcase was a pure black gothic-looking apology of a tree. My husband and I laughed at the sight but the son was not amused.

    Son: What's so funny?

    Me: It's black. Why on earth did you buy a black one?

    Son: It looked good. What's wrong with it?

    Me: Xmas trees are usually green. I've never seen a black one.

    Son: That's so mean....instead of being thankful....

    Me: But black?
    Anyway we decided to decorate it with beads and baubles and put cotton wool on the branches. And what do you know – it actually looked quite pretty.

    A few days after the New Year I packed it away and forgot all about it. A few days ago I was looking for something and found the tree, all wrapped and bound in a plastic bag. I was thrilled and sent a message to my son who was out with his friends.

    Me: found the black Xmas tree. And happy about it.

    Son: (smile) How much fun you made of it last year....remember?

    Me: (smiley with tongue sticking out) yes. Just had a liquer chocolate to celebrate – so am on a high!

    Son: hahahaha. (another emoticon denoting surprise) Mommie, hahahaha.

    Me: (emoticon with a huge grin) Cant actually ROTFL cos I'm walking to the office right now!

    Son: LOL
    Photograph: The little black Xmas tree.
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