Last year, I asked for help from my three small friends (and their mother) when putting up our Christmas tree. It worked so well that I suggested they might like to help again this year. They seemed quite enthusiastic, so before they arrived this morning I got out the various boxes containing our artificial tree and ornaments.
Sheila and Katie managed to get the trunk and base together without my assistance, which is just as well since I'd completely forgotten how to do it. Helen, who had removed all the branches from the box and piled them randomly on the floor, helped me to look for the letters which showed where each branch went. Here she is with a 'D' branch, one of the biggest ones:
Elisabeth, who is two-and-a-half today, was a lot more helpful than she was last year, and quite understood the importance of figuring out which branches went in which slots:
When all the branches were in place, the bigger girls made sure they were firmly fixed, then started putting little ornaments on the tree:
I had even found a red felt shawl thing which we wrapped around the base to make it look slightly less unattractive...
... or more garish, depending on your viewpoint.
Here's how the tree looks after dark, with the lights on:
Although we've been given two Christmas cards, and a third had arrived in our mailbox today, I don't suppose many will arrive before Christmas. Last year, the majority of our cards arrived in the middle of January. We'd undecorated by then, so I kept them, deciding to use them as decorations for this year. More and more people are sending electronic cards or email greetings now, anyway, but we like having a display of cards above our sliding doors:
.. and behind the piano:
I wrote our cards this year on Sunday and Monday, and we posted the ones to the UK today. We seem to send fewer and fewer cards every year: this year it was only 39 to go in the mail. I hope they'll arrive before Christmas.