December 24th, 2009
12:39 PM ET

Decorating a Christmas tree in Kabul

Just a few days left till Christmas. Thanks to the efforts of CNN's Fred Pleitgen, Tim Schwarz and Claudia Otto, we have a Christmas tree in our bureau.

Now it's our turn to bring some joy of the season to the bureau's gloomy sitting room. Surprisingly we find Christmas decorations in a local store. The choice is not huge. For a moment we debate over a Santa paper cutout or the big banner announcing the season to be jolly, but at the end we decide on a lower-key affair. We leave the store with sets of baubles, a few trinkets and two sets of lights.

Back at the bureau, the tree Fred sawed down was propped against a wall. Next to it was a red plastic bucket filled with water. Why the tree was not in the bucket? Have you ever tried to balance a Christmas tree in a bucket of water without the aid of a tree stand? As it turned out it was a bit of a challenge.

Watch as bureau staffers find and decorate the tree

Gaffers tape! There is nothing you can't attach with a bit of gaffers tape. As I taped the tree to the bucket, Atia Abawi grabbed a camera. This is going to be great for BackStory, she proclaimed.

Next came the decorations. This was a job for two. So we locked the camera onto a tripod and began decorating. First up were the two sets of lights, then larger baubles followed by smaller ones and a few trinkets to top it all off. The only thing remaining was to plug the lights into the socket and turn them on. Our hearts almost sunk when it turned out that one of the light chains did not work. We stood there looking disappointed.

So what now? We debated for a while whether it's possible to actually take off the broken light chain from the tree. At the end we did, and the next day we replaced it with a new one. All done and another BackStory ready for editing.

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