'Alfie helped Dad to carry [the tree] into the living room. It smelled lovely. Then Dad fetched the big box of decorations from the attic. They spent a lot of time arranging them on the tree. When they had finished, they switched on the fairy lights and left the curtains open so that all the people passing by could see it. "To wish everyone a happy Christmas," said Mum.'
Alfie's Christmas, Shirley Hughes
I confess to being a right old nosey parker. On my walks home from work peeping into houses was the perfect way to pass an otherwise tedious half hour. Timing it right, I'd hit that magic hour when dusk had fallen; dark outside and lights on inside makes for prime snooping time. My other favourite thing to do was to guess the food cooking inside from the smells wafting out; I was a Bisto kid supper tourist.
This time of year is perfect for a bit of low-level nosing. With trees dressed up to the nines, lights twinkling, decorations shining, it'd be rude not to look, not to acknowledge that silent 'happy Christmas', wouldn't it?