Thanks to @gleek007wattpad on Twitter for the beautiful cover! I had so many submissions of gorgeous covers but felt this one worked best. You can see all of the covers on my Facebook page (facebook.com/Reekles).
Since a lot of you liked Let It Snow last year/year before, I thought I'd have another crack at a Christmasy short story! I hope you guys enjoy it and it gets you in the festive mood a little more :)
Simon throws a string of scarlet tinsel around my neck like a feather boa, holding onto the ends and waving them up and down in time with the music that’s blasting from the radio. “We’re rockin’ around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday,” he sings along, loudly and mostly out of tune.
I giggle, and sing, “Everyone’s dancing merrily, in a new old-fashion way!”
Dropping the tinsel and grabbing my hand instead, he twirls me around, and I spin back into his body. He drops a kiss on the top of my head, on the Santa hat I’m wearing. Then I duck out from my tinselly feather boa and step back.
“Come on, we promised we’d have the tree finished by the time your parents get home.”
Simon sighs, groaning exaggeratedly and rolling his eyes. “Fine, spoilsport. So - tinsel first, right?”
I gape at him, aghast. “No! Fairy lights, and then tinsel.”
His brows knit together and he wrinkles his nose. “I’m sure that’s not right.”
“That’s always how it goes.”
“Are you sure? Won’t all the lights just be hidden away by the tinsel?”
I give him a flat look. “Not if you do it properly. Haven’t you ever decorated the tree before?”
“I do the baubles,” he informs me stoutly, and I can’t help but laugh. “My mum always does most of the tree; I help my dad put all the lights up outside.”
The only reason his mum wasn’t doing the tree this year was because she’d broken her arm the week before, slipping on a patch of ice in the high street when she was Christmas shopping. Simon’s dad usually cooked the majority of their Christmas dinner anyway, I knew, so that wasn’t a problem for her; but she’d decided to leave decorating the tree to Simon this year.
I love decorating the Christmas tree; I think it’s probably my favourite part about Christmas. At least, it’s always the part I look forward to the most. Once the Christmas songs start playing in the shops on November 1st, and the Halloween costumes are replaced overnight with variety boxes of biscuits and stockings and offers like “3 for 2 on all gifts!”, I’m itching to put up the tree.
My parents always make me wait until December before we put up the tree, though, and it’s always an afternoon we set aside for the whole family. My little brother consistently insists on putting the star on, because he’s youngest, and my now-nineteen year old sister always argues that she should, because she’s oldest. My mum always makes hot chocolate with mini marshmallows for all of us, and my dad spends most of the decorating stepping back and saying, “You’ve hidden all the lights behind the tinsel!” or “You’ve got too many baubles on that side and not enough over here,” without actually doing any of the decorating himself.
So when Simon phoned me this morning to ask for help decorating his Christmas tree, I said yes before he could even finish asking the question.
Now, I look at him waiting for me to dictate where to start.
“Lights first,” I tell Simon firmly.
“Alright, if you say so...”
“Trust me. When have I ever led you wrong?”
“Well last week, you took us down a wrong turning on the way to the shopping centre, and then the week before that we had takeaway and you told me to try chicken chow mien because you said I’d like it, and it gave me food poisoning...”
“Alright, alright!” I bite my lip sheepishly, realising I maybe could have worded that better. But even if it is true, Simon’s only teasing me. “At least trust me when it comes to Christmas. I’m like, the anti-Scrooge.”
“Why do you think I asked you to come help me?” he says with a grin, and rummages around in the giant cardboard box of Christmas decorations, finally fishing out a tangle of white fairy lights. When I raise my eyebrows at the state of the knots in the wire, he shrugs sheepishly.