The Christmas Decorations
Its that time of year when the office musters some seasonal good will and drags the decade-old decorations box out of storage. Our students all leave tomorrow. They decided today was the day to get festive. The box sat in reception, squashed tinsel hanging over the edge. Someone put together the fake tree and started hanging baubles on it - they managed about 7 before they got bored and wandered off.
I came down to put some letters in the post and was overcome by the sorry state of it all. If you're gonna do it, you have to do it right (and I have to put my horror about fake trees to one side).
Firstly, the person who took the decorations off the tree last year seemed to have grabbed everything that was stringy (bead ropes, lights, tinsel) in one go and slung it in the box all knotted up. Can't believe it. Spent probably an hour un-doing the knots and untangling the almighty mess (even had to resort to cutting the tinsel out).
Secondly, I couldn't believe people didn't know that you have to put the lights on first. Have to admit to saying so quite loudly several times. It was only after someone else randomly came by and commented that the lights should go on first that anyone paid any attention to me (I was getting quite bossy by this point).
Thirdly, I couldn't quite manage to overcome my aversion to fake trees. Really this tree must now have been missing some limbs, or something. And it doesn't have that smell. Thats really part of the joy of it. It wasn't one of those really fake ones either - made of blue something or other with fibre optic lights in the ends which flicker rhythmically - it was pretending to be a real green tree - made of bent wire and something similar to green-grocer's turfy stuff (sorry, the brain is shot to pieces with being ill and its taken me 10 minutes to remember the word for fibre optics!)
So, anyway, eventually I started to get enough on it to satisfy my own personal christmas tree decorating criteria - no "tasteful" colour theming, no leaving decorations in the box, no minimalism - and managed to cover it so much that you can hardly see the crappy fake tree underneath.
Tomorrow we start on those shiny ceiling cut-out decorations (can't stand them really but we've started so we have to finish). The building manager will have to get his ladder out.