She is 17 years old and has just finished her first semester at college-- away, away from home and (somewhat smothering) family. She has gotten her second or third taste of life in a different land, meaning-- the life she grew up in. She has had the privilege of singing with the college choir, music she never knew existed. A world has opened for her.
She is home again, and in her parents' somewhat formal and stuffy living room. There is an empty Christmas tree, fragrant and lovely and bare, in a stand. There are Christmas ornaments, new, old and indifferent. It is late afternoon, and the light is already fading as she winds the lights on the tree. She decorates the tree in the darkness, the sounds of a recently purchased album providing her a never-to-be-forgotten soundtrack.
Something is very ancient, and something is very new. It is almost a bridal moment, the joy she takes in the simple beauty, the way it opens her.