Submitted by Anneli Purchase
I sense it is near that special time again when I hear the grating scrape of my shoebox-home sliding across the cement floor under the stairs. Our compartment of sleeping ornaments is soon in motion, presumably under the mistress’ arm as she brings us upstairs. A glimmer of light filters through my paper towel wrapper as she lifts the lid. I shiver with anticipation.
It has been years since I danced on an evergreen bough, but I am learning to like the weeping fig that now serves as a Christmas tree. As always, we ornaments have to wait for the string of lights. Like sugared up pre-schoolers, these little fellows are so hyper that it is no wonder the mistress wants to get them settled first and out of the way. I believe she even had to tie some of them to their seats. No dimbulbs here! One year they were so charged up with excitement that one of them shorted out and nearly set the tree on fire. I am relieved to see them put in their places and kept out of trouble.
The chubby snowman is the first to climb the tree. He chooses a sturdy branch—a wise choice, I think, and the mistress agreed as she fastened him securely so he could jiggle his fat belly safely. Don’t hang him near that warm light. But I needn’t have worried. She’s done this job many times before.
I can’t help worrying though. I’m the oldest ornament, so I’m rather conventional and conservative. I’ve hung around many a tree at Christmas time. I’ve seen some disasters, let me tell you. One year, the mistress nearly dropped me. My own sister was batted off her branch by the cat. Now I’m the last of the baubles and I’d hate for my thin blue glass to be shattered, all my lovely silver trimming turned to sparkly dust.
The candy cane was next. She’s a skinny model, and sweet to look at, but no substance at all. She sugarcoats everything she says. It’s not healthy. My back teeth ache when I look at her. However, I’m doing my best to accept all types of personalities.
Here’s one I’ve been trying to forget—the little gold trumpet. My Lord, he’s always blowing his own horn. He’s cute and shiny. If only he wasn’t such a braggart. I’m so tempted to tell him to bugle off!
Good grief! What’s happened to my angel? She’s not looking so spiffy for the top of the tree. Her white dress is in tatters. Must have become tangled in the twist ties the mistress used to fasten her. Poor angel is having a bad hair day. Her golden waves are all over the place. Ah, the mistress is fixing her up. Thank goodness, because where would we be without our angel to watch over us on the tree?
Several newbies are beginning to clutter up the remaining boughs. I’m sure the kitschy ones are only here for this year—I’m sorry for them—probably gifts hung up out of politeness to the donor.
What’s left? Only a few tattered stragglers. To be honest, I wondered what smelled so mildewy in the bottom of the box. Time to toss those, Mistress. Hmm … I wonder if she hears me. I wonder if she’s forgotten about me. She’s not going to toss ME? Oh, thank heavens, she is putting me high up in a place of honour. No, please, not by the trumpet again. Okay, over here, by the model, and not too far from the newbies. Someone has to tell them what’s what around here.