Leaving your Christmas tree up all year round might usually suggest that you're either chronically lazy or chronically sentimental. At Mountmellick in Co Laois, though, they take an entirely different view.
Mountmellick is the home of what locals say is the biggest year-round Christmas tree in Europe. Although it's not a real tree, it stands some 65ft tall at O'Connell Square throughout the year, and is dressed and lit up annually at Christmas in a ceremony attended by all the townsfolk.
In fact, the tradition of getting year-round value out of your trees is catching on in this locality. Seven kilometres from Mountmellick, in the townland of Garrymore, is a property with a treehouse good enough to bring about status anxiety in The Swiss Family Robinson.
The house is on two acres with a greenhouse, henhouse, raised vegetable beds and enclosed patio, but the treehouse is the best bit. It has its own electricity supply, proper windows with glazing, a little lofted sleeping area, and French doors to a raised, covered verandah.
There would be almost nothing to tempt you down from the trees were it not for the fact that the main house is all done out for comfort and pleasure as well.
It's 1,958 sq ft, with five bedrooms - four on the first floor and a guest room downstairs. The main living room is a kitchen/dining room with a cream solid-fuel range and French doors to the patio. There's also a separate living room with French doors to the garden and a granite fireplace.
Geographically, Garrymore is in Laois, but its postal address is Geashill, Co Offaly. Geashill is 9km away in the opposite direction to Mountmellick, and it's about an hour in the car to the M50.
The agent is Kate O'Shea (086) 798 1888 and the asking price is €425,000.