So we got all the decorations out on Saturday morning. I couldn't remember having quite that much stuff, but I do avail myself of the January sales so it's not really surprising.
The little one was beside himself with excitement and began unwrapping things faster than I could shout "Careful that's really fragile". The first bauble unwrapped was placed on the table, as instructed, with a wee bit more force than necessary - and it shattered. It's not so much the breakage, although this bauble was rather attactive, it's the bloody mess the shards make, and the inevitable injury that follows. Troop to the kitchen for a plaster/band-aid and the handheld vacuum, which of course sucks the shards up, then slowly dribbles them out again on your walk to put it back. I should just reach for the brush and shovel every time.
We have an artificial tree which looks very real. I can't be bothered with the real ones playing havoc with my allergies and dropping needles everywhere. Besides, the Queenager is in the school's Environmental Club, so we have to do our bit with re-usable items. I believe the word now is "sustainable".
It took about 45 minutes to straighten out all the squashed up branches, and arrange things so that you couldn't see straight through it. The Ball & Chain found a huge bag of lights, and we spent about ten minutes debating which ones we'd used last year. I swear we must have bought new lights every year for a decade as we have a bigger variety than our local hardware store/shop. We even had a brand new box, but decided against those lights as they flashed on and off, faded in and out and generally promised an instant migraine. I should put them outside and give the neighbours something to talk about!
As usual, interest started to wane amongst the various family members as the tree became fuller and fuller. By the end, I was the only one diving to the bottom of the bauble box, which of course, meant I was the only one around to pick up the paper and put the boxes away. At this point I think I turned into a harpie, a bit like her over at Family Affairs. Not only did I demand that everyone help, I then turned my attention to the homework-in-the-wrong-place, instruments-where-they-shouldn't-be, and keys-left-lying-around. It was at this point that the Ball & Chain wisely took them off to Starbucks for a hot chocolate and a bulletproof jacket.
Anyway,here's a (fairly non-breakable) bauble artfully photographed by the Queenager: