Sophie walked down the stairs carrying the last plastic box. She went into the living room where her parents and two younger brothers were gathered. Cardboard and plastic boxes of different sizes cluttered the newly vacuumed floor, hiding carefully wrapped treasures. Christmas music played loudly through the speakers and Sophie pulled a face at badly remixed song.
Placing the box down, she watched her parents unwrapping and testing fairy lights. Her brothers were putting up the plastic fir tree in the corner, commenting about how small and thin it seemed. It probably only looked that way because both of them were adults now and a lot taller than the tree. Sophie opened the box she had brought down and found one of the pot sweet houses inside. She put it to the side and moved to a large plastic box which had all the tree decorations in it.
Flipping the lid off, she looked into the mass of decorations then remembered that the lights should go on first. There were two sets of white lights and as her brothers finished wrapping them around the tree, it was already starting to look Christmassy. They shared out placing the tinsel and decorations on. Laughing and racing each other to find certain ones, like they did every year.
‘Here’s the jingle bug!’ Sophie cried, holding out a thin card cut out bug shape.
‘I love that book,’ her mum replied.
‘Do you have any idea where it is now?’
Sophie shook her head and put the jingle bug in the tree. She picked up a glass candy cane and added that too. Far too quickly, the tree was decorated and the branches were crowded with ornaments of all different kinds. Sophia placed the star on top and then everyone went about another task. Her brothers helped her dad hang the lights in the front room windows and her mother went to hang the ones with the tinsel on the front door. Sophie went to a blue box that had been left on the table and looked inside.
She smiled, picked the box up and went into the kitchen. On the windowsill she set up the Nativity. For a few moments afterwards, she moved the figures about, placing them around the baby and making sure they could all be seen. Movement behind her made her turn and she saw that her mum had finished at the front door.
Multi-coloured lights lit the hallway and Sophie felt oddly satisfied. Going back into the living room, she helped hang the centre piece above the TV, which consisted of tinsel, lights and large red balls. Her brothers and dad came back from the other room and began stacking the boxes ready to go back into the attic.
‘Well, Christmas is officially here,’ Sophie said, proudly.