Ohhhhh Christmas Tree

Today's Advent Sunday and ever since I was a little girl this is always the day we get the Christmas decorations down from the loft and I decorate the Christmas tree. It's a family tradition which NAH is more than happy for me to continue with ;)

So you can imagine my delight when the nice people at Dobbies offered to send me a sparkly Snowtime Fibre Optic Sunburst Christmas Tree for me to try out. A package promptly arrived from Scotland via Parcel Force and as I was away on holiday at the time and my neighbours were out, it was taken to my local post office for me to pick up later.

I unpacked the box this morning and assembled everything within a mere 5 minutes. There's 3 legs to attach to the base, the tree's branches (a single unit for this 4ft tree) to slot into it, plus the transformer to plug into the base and the wall socket. The base also contains the light and the revolving disc to drive the changing colours within the fibre optic lights spread throughout the tree. There's 175cm (just under five feet) of cable from the transformer to the plug, so you'll need to put your tree fairly close to the socket, or else use an extension lead (with care!) if you want to put the tree further away.

With everything duly assembled and all the branches pulled down into position to make everything look much more tree like, I then switched it on... and nothing happened :(

Being the electrical and electronics engineer that he is, NAH of course has just the right equipment to hand to test things out and was able to quickly confirm the transformer's as dead as a dodo. I'd noticed when I unpacked the box (which was in good condition) that the transformer had come out of its carton. On closer inspection, the carton wasn't fully taped together and its protective cardboard packaging wasn't taped around it either. NAH thinks this may have been enough to damage the transformer whilst in transit from the manufacturer or from Dobbies to me. Alternatively it might not have been working before it was put in the box.

I don't blame Dobbies at all for this problem and I see they have a clear returns policy shown on their website where faulty goods can be returned to them within 28 days for either a replacement or a full refund. I've emailed Ian at Dobbies - who asked if I'd like to review a tree - to see what he'd like to do next and to show there's no hard feelings, I've ordered some outdoor Christmas lights on the strength of Karen's review. Ours finally gave up the ghost last year, so I'd been planning on getting some anyway and hadn't found any I liked locally.

If a tree's more your thing, then you might like to know Ryan has a giveaway for UK readers over at his blog at the moment. You can choose any tree, artificial or real from Dobbies range and if you leave a comment there before the close of Friday 4th December, you may be lucky enough to have Ryan's glamorous assistant pull your name out as the winner!

NB OOTS alert! It's nearly time for our quarterly look at public planting. December will be a sparkling festive edition where I'll be asking you to show us your neighbourhood's decorations. There's more to come on introducing this to you in the coming week, but I know how some of you like plenty of notice so you can get your cameras out ;)


  1. Oh! how sad the first one didn't work - I look forward to seeing another sparkly one here at some point.

    Thanks for the link love - I am still rather pleased with the lights on the studio - very jolly

  2. We have an adorable 4-foot fiberoptic tree here, VP, and it's just fantastic. (Had to resort to soemthing after the cats not only destryed our fresh-cut trees but even managed to pull over our huge Norfolk Island pine, in every case sending ornaments crashing and smashing everywhere.) We love our fiberoptic tree, and now reserve our precious ornaments for the mantel and table displays, which for whatever reason the cats don't bother. Hope you get yours up and running soon!

  3. I wonder did it smell of pine?

  4. Karen - your studio looks very jolly. Mrs Grumpy must be a reformed character ;)

    OFB - a real tree wouldn't last 5 minutes with our 2 cats either!

    Angie - no, of course not and I'm not getting one of those pine scented air fresheners either! ;)

  5. our household puts up the tree first weekend in dec. in this case, it will be in time for isa's bday party (she was 4 on 28 nov.). but we can't use artificial trees as i have a allergy to them--break out in a rash if in contact with the branches. so it's a cut tree for us!

  6. Petoskystone - happy tree decorating! Quite a few people are allergic to real trees, so have to make do with an artificial one.

    We've always had artificial as my parents never had a car and artificial was the only option available locally. My mum's tree (the second one since she got married) will be 35 years old this year.

  7. I must have come from a more orthodox background. We don't decorate a thing before Christmas Eve. That way, everyone can squabble of what to put where while the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is on the wireless.

    As for your fake tree - bit of a bah humbug, isn't it?

  8. Whooops that should read 'squabble over.' Rotten English. Sorry!

  9. HA ha! I am posting on your blog whilst you were over at mine.

    Am I the only person in the entire blogosphere not to have a Chrimbo freebie from Dobies? I suppose it doesn't help that there aren't any near me but I did once visit the one in Shrewsbury.

  10. Nige - bah humbug indeed, but everything worked out well in the end. It's having it's last merry twinkle of the season tonight.

    Arabella - I'm surprised I've been included after posting about the porcelain loos, the chickens and the bedstead. I've got an interview with Dobbies lined up for the New Year, which I'm hoping will shed some light on what they want to do with Bloggers...


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