rainbow baubleWhen I was young we used to hang glassy rainbow baubles from our wrought iron staircase at Christmas time. These baubles were so elegant. Their colour ran from red to yellow, green to blue yet in each you could see the whole of our dining room and stairway reflected with such fine clarity.
Little black shirring elastic loops stayed attached to the baubles and we wound these around the scroll spirals, around and around, until they rested in that space above each step where they were just meant to be.
Family tradition meant this was repeated every year.
After Christmas they were taken down, carefully wrapped and put in the box ‘Staircase’.
There was a joy in the process of putting them up – to see the staircase glowing with Christmas decoration. And the joy of taking them down – to see the stairway fresh and back to ‘normal’ for the New Year.

Then one year we got a puppy …

broken baubleAnd that dog had never seen decorations before.
In the morning, house freshly adorned, he was let out of the kitchen where he slept.
A puppy is a boisterous dog and his first thoughts were to leap upstairs to see ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. As he raced up the stairs, tail flailing, he whipped the baubles against the metal scrollwork – I can still hear the sound of fine tinkering glass – and we couldn’t stop him in his excitement to get upstairs.
Sad loops and heads of baubles in those empty spaces.

We continued to put baubles on the banister scrolls.
Same process, same shirring elastic loops but the replacement baubles were plastic with brash colors, crude reflections and nasty seams.
But when that dog’s tail wagged those baubles just bounced like ping pong balls.