A Christmas loving mum who kept her tree up to lift her family’s spirits during the pandemic continues to spread cheer all year round.
Facing a low-key Christmas at the height of the pandemic, Victoria Gauden, 37 put up her Christmas tree on 1 October 2020 to cheer herself up. When boxing the tree up was delayed due to a family illness, Victoria decided to keep the tree up all year round.
The tree has since been decorated 140 times to raise a smile and awareness for charities including the NHS, Sepsis Day and World Suicide Prevention Day.
Victoria’s tree won’t be decorated with Christmas decorations until Christmas Eve this year. Instead the tree will be a beacon of joy and happiness to spread cheer all year round.
Victoria from Caerphilly, Wales said the twinkling lights on the tree gave her hope in difficult times.
Victoria said: “I didn’t want to take it down. I was thinking of all the excuses to keep it there. I love Christmas because it’s about being with family. It’s just a day of excitement and happiness, when it doesn’t matter who does what or anything like that.”
Victoria was devastated when she had to make Christmas a lower key event last year owing to Covid-19. It had a huge impact on the gathering that would usually have over 20 family members. When daughter Demi, nine, caught Covid-19 a few days after seeing the new year in, the entire family found joy in the unexpected source of the Christmas tree.
With the tree being treated as a joy giver and permanent piece of furniture, it was then decorated with seasonal decorations to celebrate birthdays and big events throughout the year. For Halloween it was festooned with cobwebs, spiders and skulls, whilst Pancake Day saw it draped with colourful drawings of pancakes, mini Nutella pots and sauce-pans.
For April Fools’ Day, Victoria placed Whoopee cushions and joke chewing gum on the tree. When celebrating the Paralympic Games, the tree featured historic and fun facts of the games. When raising awareness for World Sepsis Day, Victoria hung germ and heart decorations from the green branches of her trusty tree. For World Suicide Prevention Day, the tree was covered with uplifting messages and yellow ribbons. For World Down Syndrome Day she covered the tree in odd socks, then chocolate bars for World Chocolate Day and colourful trousers for the Wallace and Gromit children’s charity Wrong Trouser Day.
Victoria’s fun festive tree antics are on display in her open plan living room which overlooks the main road. She doesn’t mind and quite likes the locals admiring her tree. She thinks it’s a great conversation starter for the neighbours, who frequently gather to have a look at the tree for its updated look.
Victoria said: “I love that I’m raising awareness for things. For example people who had relatives who had committed suicide shared my picture of the tree and my post, I felt it had a real impact.”
This year her tree won’t be decorated with Christmas decorations until Christmas Eve, as Victoria works hard to cram in as many charitable and awareness days as she possibly can.
For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.