I heard the familiar sound of Julian’s car pulling up in the driveway. He really must get that fan belt checked. Two little terrors were banging on the cupboard door. “Mummy, are you in here?’ There was no escape.
‘Yes sweetie. Mummy is getting the Christmas tree.’ I dragged the large box out narrowly missing being bowled over by the dog. ‘Cookie, get out of the way.’
I was glad I had opted for a red wine. No need to chill. I took it from Julian before he had put his car keys down and poured myself a generous glass. I set off upstairs in search of the decorations. ‘Honey, watch the kids for a minute please.’
I located the box at the back of the wardrobe and lugged it back down the stairs. Then, I stopped in my tracks. What the hell is all that shit? Brightly coloured pieces of cardboard covered in glitter were strewn all over the living room floor.
Oh no, not the bloody Christmas cards. For fuck’s sake. It wasn’t hard to spot the culprit, her little hands and face covered in green glitter. ‘Look mummy, pretty.’ Oh well, I guess our family and friends will be receiving a ‘Merry Christmas’ text message this year. I asked Julian to clean up the mess while I got to work on the tree.
I stick by what I had said to Danni only days earlier. Christmas is hazardous to your health. While opening the box and putting the two sections of the tree together, I sustained a papercut, got poked in the eye by a rogue branch, and broke three nails.
As I started to place the decorations on the tree, Cookie got a case of ‘the zoomies’ running around like a puppy possessed. ‘Julian, honey, do you think you can keep the dog away from the tree please.’
He poked his head up from his laptop. ‘I’m already keeping an eye on the kids hun. I’m sure she will settle down soon.’
Nope. Within five short minutes we had eight smashed baubles, seven mangled reindeer, 6 headless Santa’s, I need to scream, 4 broken snowflakes, 3 cracked canes, 2 snapped stars, and an angel detached from her tree.
I got the tree upright once again and put all the broken decorations towards the back. The angel has survived her fall from grace and it felt as if she was judging me from her pedestal perched on the top. What are you looking at? I’d like to see you juggle a full-time job, two young kids, an unhelpful husband, and all the crap that comes with this time of year.
I stood back admiring my handy work. That’ll have to do. Sue can kiss my arse.
Unpublished Work Hayley Walsh (c) 2023