During the holidays, my mom puts all these adorable little vintage houses up on the mantel, on top of Christmas lights and bristly green garlands. The glittery things are small, they fit on my extended palm, and each one has a little hole in the back--near where it says "Made in Japan"--so you can thread in one bulb and light them up.
When I was little, I loved the warm glow coming from the delicate colored-tissue windows crafted on the facades. What brought more holiday joy, of course, was punching out these fragile constructions with my sticky child forefinger--the snap of the paper, the release in tension from how they were secured in their fine tinseled frames.
I'd elbow my older sister out of the way, or clothesline my younger brother in the throat, because we all fought to get at them, turning them over to find some virgin pane. Breaking these windows was the best thing ever, infinitely better than popping bubble-wrap, because these houses were rare sightings--seasonal. And bubble-wrap can be found any old week; it's not valuable or special or handed down from Grandma Arnold. Ugh, I'm awful. Pop! I feel better already.