I wanted to put our Christmas tree up this week. I didn't want to do it on my own. So I had the bright idea of inviting my small friends Katie (6) and Helen (3) to help me. They came over this afternoon, accompanied by their mother and small sister, and after playing with Lego for a while and reading some books, remembered that I had promised that they could help me with the tree. Katie informed me that I was 'so lucky' to have a tree in a box, just waiting to go up:
I couldn't remember exactly how the base and trunk went together; I would have figured it out, but Sheila is better at that kind of thing, and put it together quickly. I then explained to Katie how the different sizes of branch had different letters to show where they should slot in, and she grasped the idea immediately:
Elisabeth (now 18 months old) thought it was fun putting them in too but she thought it was equally enjoyable taking them out again. Fortunately, the combined efforts of Sheila, Katie and Helen ensured that more branches went in than went out... I was behind the camera, so had a good reason for not helping..
However, the next task was to unravel the lights, which had been bundled into a box in January, and, as wires do, had tangled themselves up in the intervening 11 months. Katie held one end and I gradually unwound them.. this time Sheila got her camera out:
We'd made the slight mistake of putting the tree up right by the box, whereas I wanted it in the corner of the room near a power socket, so after wrapping the lights around, I carried it over to the Christmas tree spot. The girls then oohed and aahed over our somewhat eclectic selection of ornaments, not all of which I would personally have chosen, but most of which have a little history or nostalgia attached to them. Not all... there always seem to be a couple which randomly materialised since last year. Perhaps tree ornaments breed during the spring.
Katie was very helpful:
Helen couldn't manage them so well, so she passed me ornaments to hang:
Then they put some tinsel on the tree:
Elisabeth thought that the tinsel was a scarf:
I had thought that the tinsel would be the final addition, but the girls then discovered some red ribbon which we put up around the walls of our old house about eight or nine years ago, and which I've never quite brought myself to throw away. I'm not sure it really added much, and may subtly remove it at some point... but Katie and Helen were very pleased with their handiwork: