You might all think of me as a bit of a Scrooge but there are certain parts of Christmas even I begrudgingly enjoy.
I’m crafty enough to receive far more presents than I give, and like many an elderly gent with nautical facial hair I’m never short of work at this time of year.
Christmas decorations do tend to leave me bah humbugging and looking for the nearest Tiny Tim to bully though.
Baubles, stars and angels do little for me and wreaths on doors strike me as more than a little depressing.
Plus as the Captain gets older and smellier it’s more and more difficult to make the most of any hanging mistletoe.
The one thing I do like to see each year is a nice traditional Christmas tree in the town centre.
Years at sea make you long for a bit of greenery, and the sight of a fine conifer in town can make Christmas shopping slightly less of a chore.
Which is why this year’s effort in the Market Place is so disappointing.
In previous years Gainsborough’s tree has been a fine specimen, fully deserving its coveted spot outside the Standard’s offices.
But 2012’s Lilliputian evergreen is a sorry affair and looks dwarfed by its surroundings.
It’s about as bushy as one of those wispy, adolescent moustaches I keep seeing being paraded around in the name of charity at this time of year.
Is nothing safe in these times of cuts and austerity?
It looks like even our Christmas trees are being dumbed down.
From what I’ve seen of the Christmas lights being put up in the town centre, it doesn’t look like the extra cash is being spent on these either.