"Jack, please be careful!" Katherine called up as she handed Jack an ornament to hang on the evergreen tree. Jack gave her a smile to say that of course he wouldn't fall, why would you ever think of such a thing? and adjusted the hook on the glass ball to put it on the branch.
The door to the lodging house burst open, admitting a rush of icey wind, snow, Specs and Race, both holding a brown box chock full of ornaments. Their red frost-bitten faces were grinning.
"Hi!" Specs said cheerfully. "Davey and Crutchie have the last boxes, they'll be along soon."
The boys gave the ornaments to Katherine, who set them under the tree. Race nodded his approval at the tree.
"Looks nice," he said, and walked upstairs to get another cigar.
Specs nodded, adjusting his glasses. "Need some help, Jack?"
"I've got it!" he responded. "Jus' give me the decorations."
The door flew open again, and Davey walked in, grumpily wearing the bright red sweater his mother had made him. He set his box down by the tree.
"Les and my sister'll be along later," Davey brushed the snow off his hair. "They're bringing gifts and food. My mother got it into her head to make sweaters for everyone."
Specs laughed slightly, but covered it up when Davey turned to him.
The door was opened once more, and in tripped Crutchie with the box he was holding. The box flew across the room, landing with a clatter as all the ornaments inside shattered. He got up with a look of horror on his face.
"Sorry! I didn't mean to! Oh, great…"
Jack sighed, coming down from the ladder. "It's alright." He scooped up the box Crutchie had been holding. "I'll jus' throw these away—"
"No!" Katherine frantically grabbed the box and started opening it. Jack looked at her with confusion apparent on his face. "What?"
"We should hang them up anyways, even if they're broken," Katherine said, handing a piece of glass to Jack.
"But why?" Davey asked. Katherine looked at him reproachfully.
"We don't throw away the broken people, do we?"
Crutchie grinned. This was turning out to be a great Christmas.