“Keep it coming, keep it coming,” I chanted. I tilted the Christmas tree toward myself, attempting to get it to stay balanced.
On the other side, MJ grunted, getting a mouthful of plastic tinsel.
We were finally getting around to decorating for Christmas. First to go up, of course, was the tree!
“Perfect!” MJ exclaimed as the tree rocked back and forth, then steadied.
I ordered, “Come on, guys, let’s get the ornaments out!”
My siblings were gathered around the boxes of decorations we’d dragged down from the attic.
“We’ve got to sort this out first,” Savannah sighed, waving at the heaps of decorations. “We have way too many decorations!” She plopped onto the ground, helplessly drumming her fingers on the boxes.
“Excuse me?” Emily protested, popping up beside Savannah. “If anything, we don’t have enough!”
I rolled my eyes.
Soon, the festive items had been sorted into two piles: one was related to the Christmas tree, the other house decorations.
“Who wants to be on house duty with me?” Caroline asked with a smile. As if any of us would choose attaching paper snowflakes to the ceiling over decorating the tree.
“Not me!” I cried, quickly touching the tip of my nose.
Ivy plucked the mitten-shaped advent calendar from the jumble of decorations. “This isn’t going to be very useful,” she snorted. “It’s too late to start doing it now. Let’s just put it back in the attic.”
She moved toward the stairs leading to the attic.
Isabelle snatched the advent calendar from Ivy. “It’ll still look cute. Let’s put it up anyway.”
Caroline coughed. “I said, who’s going to be on house duty with me?” she repeated forcefully.
MJ, smirking, pointed at me. “Voluntold!” she crowed, laughing.
Caroline shoved a brown paper bag filled with fuzzy red and white stockings into my arms Groaning, I trudged over to the wall, where I sourly began to hang them.
Needless to say, I worked as swiftly as I could. Perhaps if I finished earlier than expected, there would still be some ornaments left for me to stick on the tree.
Caroline skipped upstairs with an armful of decorations. She taped several frosty blue pieces of paper to the wall beside Isabelle’s bed: they read “Fa la la.”
It has a much better affect if you sing it instead of just, you know, saying it.
By the time Caroline and I had finished decking out the house, the red (er, hot pink) and green Christmas tree pillow was resting on the couch;
the nativity was set up, little flowering pot versions of Mary and Joseph crowding around the baby;
I’d been forced to set out a bowl of mints with a name tag beside it that read “Santa;”
the stockings were hanging on the wall in neat rows;
Caroline’s “Fa la la” sign was finished;
our “useless” advent calendar was up on the third floor;
much to my dismay, lacy paper snowflakes were hanging in my room;
and the naughty mini doll were dancing around their own tiny tree.
We hurried back downstairs to find that our sisters had made just about zero progress on the tree. Molly was glancing back and forth between the bin of sparkling ornaments and the string of lights. She looked up when we pounded down the stairs. “Which first?” she asked.
“Lights!” Caroline ordered.
Nevaeh held up two other strings of lights. One had large stars on it, the other a rainbow assortment of teeny bulbous lights. “What do I do with these?” she said to no one in particular.
“The stars are broken,” MJ announced striding over, “so I guess we could, like, turn them into ornaments or something.”
She took the rainbow lights from Nevaeh and settled them in a loop on top of her head. After proclaiming herself the “Queen of Christmas,” she got down to work. “Emily, Saige, get over here — I need your help making some ornaments.”
The redheaded girls MJ had named hurried over to her. “Yes?” they inquired at the same time.
MJ showed them how to pop the star lights off the wire. They sat down on the floor, Emily jerking off the lights, Saige and MJ slipping hooks into them.
Izzy and Savannah had already started putting ornaments on the tree. Ana was going about it in a weird way: spinning around in circles, literally throwing the bulbs onto the tree every time she faced it.
I dashed over to the tree, beginning to sing the song “Mr. Grinch.” MJ immediately began to belt out “The Christmas Can-Can.” We were each trying to sing louder than the other.
Everyone wandered over to the tree, where Molly (or Lovely Assistant, as I was calling her) was walking around with the box of ornaments, offering it to everyone who didn’t have a bulb in their hand.
Nevaeh selected a purple bulb that was covered in glitter.
Soon everyone was decorating the tree. The ongoing song battle between MJ and I made a lively atmosphere.
“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!” I shouted. “You really are a heel!”
“Christmas, Christmas time is hear, and Christmas songs you love to hear!” MJ replied at the top of her lungs. “Thoughts of joy and hope and cheer, but mostly shopping! Shopping! Shopping!”
Before long, all of the sparkly ornaments were on the tree. MJ stepped on top of several boxes, still having to stand on tiptoe to fit the silver star on the tree. “Hey, Tra-a-a-cy,” she trilled.
“I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!” I bellowed.
I looked up from trying to stuff four candy canes into my mouth at the same time. “Huh?”
“Plug in the lights!” my best friend commanded.
Huffing, I marched over to the wall and shoved the the plug into the socket.
The lights on the Christmas tree flickered on without a sound. The shiny and glittering ornaments reflected the light, and I’m not gonna lie — it was really quite beautiful.
Everyone else in my family must have thought the same thing, because there was a collective “Ooh . . .”
Like they were being mind controlled, or as if they were zombies, my sisters wordlessly formed a circle around the tree and held hands. I was unwillingly squashed between Savannah and Nevaeh. Then we burst into song, calming Christmas carols filling the room.
Because we can do that.
Do you like decorating for Christmas?
Peace out and merry Christmas,