It wouldn’t be Christmas without the decorations falling from the wall. Those that fell today had been up a matter of hours. Paper chains that drooped and then guarded the doors of the hall, as the loops came unstuck and the festivities found themselves grounded.

Back in the *early place* where I grew up, I was always tremendously excited when the decorations went up. The excitement wasn’t typically shared by everyone, particularly if they were fully grown up, in adult form, and responsible for attaching things to the cornicing.

In that house, the decorations were truly transformative. At night, I would often sit at the top of the stairs, looking down in awe and wonder at the magic of crepe and tissue banners stretched across the hall, multi-coloured fairy lights, and cards from across the land.

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