The Travelodge Christmas Tree
Once upon a time there was a small silver Travelodge Christmas Tree. He was a modest glittery sort of tree. Some may have described him as ‘cheap and cheerful.’ He was shipped in to the UK with thousands of other trees. Exactly the same, six inch, ‘Made In China’ Christmas trees. These trees had a job to do. They were tasked with brightening up dining tables in restaurants across the land of Olde England.
The Travelodge Christmas Tree stoically accepted this fate. However, things were about to get a bit more exciting. He was about to be freed! Freed from the easy clean Formica topped dining table, he had been assigned to in the restaurant of the Heathrow Travelodge. Two travelling ladies, staying at the very reasonably priced airport hotel, noticed the tree. In buoyant mood, and about to embark upon their travels to escape the British winter, they took a shine to the tree. They decided to take pity on him. Laughing over their Travelodge repast, they said ‘Let’s take the tree with us!’ And so they did. In the wink of a fairy light, the Travelodge Christmas tree found itself perched on the edge of a rather nice suitcase. The Travelodge Christmas tree was about to wave its Travelodge home goodbye. A small tree was about to go on a BIG adventure.
The Travelodge Christmas tree flies to Oman!
Before he knew, it the Travelodge Christmas tree was whisked through Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport. Without a passport, he found himself boarding a British Airways flight, heading to the Middle East! He looked out of the plane window, at the clouds and the sky. The Travelodge Christmas Tree marveled at the snow capped mountain ranges of Afghanistan. As the sun began to set he thought, ‘how beautiful.’
The Travelodge Christmas Tree thought himself very lucky indeed. ‘The last time I traveled on a plane I was packed in tight with thousands of other trees just like me. In the cargo hold! All I could see was the bottom of the tree in front of me!’ Several hours later, the ladies and their companion tree, landed in Muscat. Muscat is the capital of the exotic middle eastern country of Oman. It was lovely hot weather there, a considerable improvement on the chilly British winter. The Travelodge Christmas tree found himself staying in a beautiful Arabian house. Along with his two charming lady companions, naturally.
The Arabian adventure begins for the Travelodge Christmas Tree
The following evening, the Travelodge Christmas tree was put to work as the ladies were off out to sample some local street food. It was being served up in the car park next to the desalination plant. He used his decorating skills to brighten up their plastic dining table. Young men from the island of Zanzibar held their nightly BBQ here. Rich Omanis turned up in their large shiny cars every night hungry for their tasty food. They drove off with supplies of chicken, pork, prawn and squid kebabs. The spicy potato soup was also popular. The ladies and the tree enjoyed the local ambiance along with the fine cuisine.
The next night the Travelodge Christmas tree found himself on another Arabian night out. The ladies were out on the town. The tree watched them drink Cosmopolitans in the Grand Hyatt hotel. He saw them demolish an impressive amount of complimentary bar snacks too. The ladies then moved on to Feeney’s Irish bar. The tree was having the time of his life. The ladies joined in the pub quiz on the team of some friendly English chaps. They were working there for an adventure holiday company. Missing home, they had popped in for some Guiness and a plate of sausage and mash.
The Travelodge Christmas tree goes into the desert
The ladies thought that they would go and stay in a desert camp. It is one of the things you do here. Oman has some amazing and ancient sand dunes to explore. One of the ladies drove the huge car they had hired. The other lady was the navigator. Sort of. The tree was right there as they watched camel trains crossing the desert. He watched them go ‘dune bashing’ in a 4×4 with Abdulah their Bedouin guide. That was quite scary. The Travelodge Christmas tree sat with the ladies in the desert while they watched the sun slide below the horizon. He thought how lucky he was that the had ladies found him. ‘Of all the Travelodges in all the world,’ he mused.
The Travelodge Christmas tree even shared in the ladies evening gin and tonic. This classic British tipple appeared from a bag somewhere, despite the undeniably remote location. Next day, the ladies drove to a Wadi. A Wadi is a kind of beautiful green oasis in the desert. The tree gazed at the clear green water and watched the ladies swim in it with all of their clothes on. Bikinis were not the done thing here. At the Wadi Bin Khalid he reflected on all he had seen. He could never have guessed that this would happen to him when he came off the production line in China. It was only a few weeks ago!
What next for the Travelodge Christmas tree?
As the trip progressed, the Travelodge Christmas tree began to worry that the ladies would tire of him. Perhaps they would throw him casually into the bin or or maybe leave him behind without a backward glance? He felt part of a little team on his Arabian adventure. To be abandoned now would almost make him wish he was back with the rest of his synthetic forest friends, overseeing a thousand English breakfasts in the Travelodge.
Happy Christmas to the Travelodge Christmas tree!
The tree did not need to worry its small, spiky self. His travel companions had no intention of leaving him behind. They had grown very fond of him, and enjoyed his non critical company. He was booked in on the return trip. The Travelodge Christmas tree flew home to England with the ladies, and he continued the festive season in fine style. They even took him out for afternoon tea at an upmarket country pad in Newcastle, called Jesmond Dene House. The little Travelodge Christmas tree felt loved and wanted, which is what we all want after all. And he had a very happy Christmas indeed!