The fairy blinked and opened her eyes. Tentatively she unrolled her wings and stretched them to see if there was any damage. All seemed fine despite having been locked up for so long.
Although it was getting dark a subtle glow showed a box of Christmas decorations huddled under the tree. She recognised the blow up Rudolph from last year, who would shortly be riding in the window with a musical Father Christmas sitting on his back.
The woven green Christmas tree from an anniversary cruise many years ago would take its place on the bannisters; the red stockings would make their way in increasing sizes up the stairs.
Last year the old green tree had breathed its last, so it had now been replaced with a modern white version.
Three reels of Christmas lights were waiting to be untangled. The tatty old decorations from the cupboard under the stairs had been removed to give Harry Potter a bit of space.
The strings of red and gold were examined to see if they would last for another year, while the misshapen bells and torn hanging garlands were really only fit for the dustbin.
At least the Gold Star was in good condition, and the bulbs on the holly wreath were all intact. Many people started afresh each year but in this house every ornament was a memory.
“You know what, Joan,” the old man said, “we really should think about getting some new ones for next year. Most of these are well past their sell-by date.”
“A bit like us then,” his wife smiled. “Let’s just wait and see how it looks when it’s all done.”
Fred reserved his judgement, although secretly he still thought they looked a bit shabby. The sound of the doorbell interrupted his thoughts. “I’ll get it,” he called as Joan put the final touches and went to plug in the tree lights.
“Work your magic,” Joan whispered to the fairy, as she put her in pride of place at the top of the tree.
“Grandma, it’s like fairy land,” Sophie squealed, as she launched herself into the old lady’s arms. Looking round the room Fred had to agree with her. As usual his wife was right; everything looked wonderful.
Turning to hug her he noticed the kiss she blew to the fairy. It must have been the light but he would have sworn he saw the figure wink.