My favourite festive decoration would have to be these Christmas tree lights! A lengthy string of blinking globes that seems to have existed forever – or at least, since long before I came into being. The ones my family always used were kind of your garden-variety tree lights: a looped rope of colourful globes with very sharp, pointy plastic shells. When they lit up, all the spikes created a faceted, glowy look. It was very sparkly, and very pleasing. I used to sit under our plastic tree – which was usually elevated on a small, round table in the dining room window – and stare at them for hours. When it came to Christmas decorating, my mum was very methodical and a reliable art director. It was lights first, then tinsel, then the rest. I remember every year these lights emerged from the decoration box hopelessly tangled – I couldn’t imagine they would ever unravel, let alone work. Whoever got the job of ‘handling’ the lights would likely end up crabby and bearing multiple wounds from the sharp prongs, but all was forgiven when the switch was flicked! The moment those lights lit up, whoever was present for the decorating (usually my sister, my mum and dad and I) would let out a collective “Ahhh, pretty!” It was the moment the Christmas cheer really began. Now I’m older, I take a more devil-may-care approach to festive decorating and just sort of fling things around – most of which ends up batted under the couch by my cat.

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