My parents are doing the Christmas decorations.
I’m not talking about hanging baubles on the tree or stringing fairy lights across the curtains.
This isn’t about tinsel and little angels.
This is serious stuff.
Papa has been painting the living room all day.
Mum is about to drill holes in the wall to put up new wall lights.
We are finally putting a crystal chandelier in our house.
Bling Bling - go those sleigh bells.
“I bet you’ve got lovely lights in your house,” people say.
When you’re in the business, the lights in your own home are the last thing you worry about.
In the past we’ve taken lights off our walls to satisfy customers searching for a perfect match.
This is a new experience.
I’m very excited about getting our own bit of razzle-dazzle.
I’d be even more excited if mum turned off the electrics before she started drilling. But she won’t because then Papa won’t be able to see where he’s painting.
She knocks on the wall.
“Is it wood? Does that sound like wood?”
“Cardboard,” my dad said.
“I love you mum,” I say.
She starts drilling and my legs go funny.
I head into the kitchen and make tea for everyone.
I don’t need to ask if they want tea or coffee because I’ve already made coffee twice today.
Since my date gave me my coffee machine I’ve never been so enthusiastic about making anyone a drink in my life.
Neither have I bought so much milk in my life or made so much mess.
This morning I used three glasses, two mugs and a pile of spoons.
“Delicious,” Mum said.
“The bubbles are cold,” Papa said.
I whisked his cup away and made another one, using up a few more glasses, mugs and spoons.
“Interesting,” he said. “It’s cold on top and hot below.”
“That’s what latte’s are like,” Mum said, draining her mug.
Two cups of tea later, the chandelier frames are in place.
Mum and I nip to the shop to get the crystals. It feels strange to be in there on a Sunday doing something for ourselves.
We take the long route home scouting for Christmas trees but we don’t see any.
I used to feel like I was the only one who cared about putting up the Christmas trimmings.
It always felt a bit touch and go and each year I worried it would never happen.
“When I was little we didn’t put the decorations up until Christmas Eve,” Mum insists every year.
Rainbows spread across the wall as I hang the crystals on our new light.
My dad keeps on painting, occasionally checking the football scores.
I know we’ll get a tree and baubles and some little angels sooner or later.
Tomorrow we’ll put a crib in the shop window, complete with mini fire, chickens and a squirrel.
I don’t know why I always get so anxious; it always comes together in the end.
That’s the magic of Christmas.