The music switches once again to Bing Crosby as Dee hangs the last of the ornaments in the box. “Are you about done down there?” she asked, looking down at Nicky and John as they hung a box of ornaments on the bottom branches.
“Yeah, almost.” Nicky replied, twisting the hook of a snowman ornament around a bottom front branch.
“What about you girls? Do you two need something to do?” Dee asked Margo and Claire. Margo shook her head and turned back to the dancing Santa.
“Mom?” Vanessa asked, looking up from her notebook.
“Yeah?” Dee replied, putting a lid on another shoebox and throwing it to the side.
“What rhymes with ‘reindeer’?” Vanessa replied, tapping her pen against her lip.
“How about ‘pain gear’?” Jordan said, putting a new hook into a blue bulb and handing it to Byron. “Like a guillotine.”
“And then all the naughty little boys and girls…swish!” Adam said, making a slicing motion across his neck and sticking his tongue out.
“Shut up, guys!” Mallory said, putting her notebook to the side and walking over to the Christmas tree to help her mom.
“Nicky?” John asked, grabbing the towel-wrapped star out of the box and pulling of its wrapping.
“Yeah, Dad?” Nicky said, before turning and seeing the star. “Oh, come on, Dad! I’m 11 years old…you can’t lift me up!” John rolled his eyes and put the star atop the tree.
“Well, I’m not even going to use reindeer anymore.” Vanessa said, referencing the former conversation as she put her ink pen behind her ear. “Here’s what I have - Santa dances / Prancer prances / Christmastime is here / Stocking coal is now near.” The triplets started to snicker and Vanessa put her hand on her hip, holding her notebook under her other arm. “For Adam and Jordan Pike.” She then threw the pen at her brothers. Jordan picked it up and threw it at Claire.
“Hey pukebucket! Don’t throw stuff at me!” Claire yelled, shoving Margo.
“I didn’t throw anything at you!” Margo replied. They stood up and both ran to Dee.
“Girls…girls!” Dee yelled, holding the ornament out from herself and wincing as her youngest daughters bumped into her and sent the bulb (which was only held by her finger) flying to the floor as it shattered into pieces. Margo and Claire backed away and started blushing. “Well, don’t just stand there.” Dee said with a sigh. “Go grab our broom.”
“Such a shame.” John said, picking up one of the largest pieces from the broken ornament, running his finger over the handwritten text “John + Dee.” He sighed and sat it back down. “I can fix it, though.”
“And how do you plan to do that?” Dee asked with a smile.
“Like this.” John walked towards Dee and wrapped his arms around her waist, letting his lips sink to hers and take her into a deep and satisfying kiss.
“Ew! You guys!” They were interrupted by Adam’s yell as he, Jordan and Nicky covered. Their eyes. They looked around to see Mallory, Byron and Vanessa smiling. Margo and Claire just held the broom and looked confused.
Dee and John looked at each other with a small smile and chuckle and then turned to continue decorating the tree.