Simone and Nadia could not wait to decorate the tree, and I lugged it out of the storage room. They helped me fluff it, shape it up a bit. I plugged in the lights to make sure they were working properly and received the answer from the girls. “Oooooh,” they said. The lights worked. The girls decided they needed a boost, brought the plastic stools we use in the bathrooms and placed them at the base of the tree. Then they took their places, on their respective stools, and put the finishing touches on the tree. There were no rules, which means they thought nothing of placing two ornaments on one branch, or putting ornaments on backward, or putting two of the same ornaments next to each other.
In previous years, I had trimmed the tree. I was careful about spacing, colors, textures, and I had used the same amount of ornaments year after year. Simone had placed an ornament or two last year, while Nadia did not have much success. This year, they were pros, and we quickly ran out of ornaments. The bottom of the tree looked, um, festive. The top of the tree, though, needed a lot of love. I figured I would redistribute the ornaments after the girls went to bed. Then I thought about how observant Simone can be. She notices when I add something new to the living room or move something small to a new home. She could notice if I changed where she had put an ornament, and I knew she would be disappointed. I did not take the chance. I announced we would purchase more ornaments and finish the tree. I enlisted the help of a taller step stool and lifted the girls when needed so they could finish the tree. The result: no hurt feelings and a beautiful tree.