The Christmas tree had gone up and now the old people’s home smelled of pine. Betty stared hard at the large tree in the corner of the day room from her wheel chair. She wrinkled her nose and decided that the tree was crooked. There was too many decorations on one side, in fact there were just too many decorations all together.
‘That tree needs sorting,’ she muttered.
With a quick glance around the room, Betty slowly wheeled herself forward. Avoiding two men playing chess and the jabbering madness of Mrs Peterson, who seemed to be talking to a fairy king about the lack of flowers in the garden. Ignoring the TV and the crowd around it, Betty came to a stop before the tree.
Reaching up, she begin to take the decorations down and place them in her lap.
‘What are you doing, Betty?’ a croaking voice called out.
Betty turned to see Margo totting over with her walking frame.
‘I’m fixing the tree,’ Betty said, ‘it doesn’t look right.’
‘Oh…how you going to reach the top?’ Margo asked.
Betty followed Margo’s eyes and looked up. There was no way she could reach any further up then she had all ready gotten.
‘Ladies. What are we doing?’
Both old woman turned to see a young nurse coming towards them.
‘Nothing,’ Margo answered, ‘I was admiring the tree. So pretty and fresh smelling.’
The nurse came over and quickly saw the tree had lost half it’s decorations and that most of them where in Betty’s lap. The rest had fallen on the floor.
‘I’m fixing it,’ Betty explained, ‘it was crooked.’
‘Okay. How about we put all these back and go and make some paper chains?’ the nurse spoke out.
‘No, thanks. My soap is all most on,’ Margo said and she started shuffling away.
‘Right then. Let’s put these decorations back on the tree.’
Tutting, Betty helped the nurse put the decorations back. Soon the tree was looking well dressed again.
‘It doesn’t look any better,’ Betty said as they were nearly done.
‘It looks fine to me. Now, let’s get you busy doing something else, shall we?’ the nurse said.
She took the handles of the wheelchair and moved Betty away.
‘I’ll be back for you later Christmas tree,’ Betty whispered under her breath.