This will probably be the last time that Fio decorates the house for Christmas. It has always been a joy to her to construct the tree, supervise the placement of the lights, hang the ornaments, and fling the tinsel. For years, she has wrapped the banisters with ersatz greenery, then added ribbons and ornaments. She's tied red bows around everything she could, hung wreaths, put up one swag of birds, butterflies, and ornamental fruit and vegetables, and another swag of exotic birds. She's even decorated the bathroom closet door. And, of course, the windows got their share of attention too.
But lately she's realized that she's the only one who enjoys her efforts. After all, the children are all grown and they've seen their mother's miracles before--year after year, in fact. Somewhere along the line, Fio thought there would be more children whose eyes would look in wonder at Fio's decorations, like she did at her own mother's. But such is not to be.
Hang up the Santa hat, Fiorella. Your time is past.