(The Moomins, who normally hibernate, have been woken by a well-meaning neighbour and are trying to get to grips with Christmas. They have worked out that everyone is very anxious about it and that a fir tree is involved.)
‘Now keep quiet a moment, please, and let me think,’ Moominpappa said. ‘If the fir tree is to be dressed as beautifully as possible, then it can’t be for the purpose of hiding in it. The idea must be to placate the danger in some way. I’m beginning to understand.’
They carried the fir out into the garden and planted it firmly in the snow. Then they started to decorate it all over with the most beautiful things they could think up. They adorned it with the big shells from the summertime flowerbeds, and with the Snork Maiden’s shell necklace. They took the prisms from the drawing-room chandelier and hung them from the branches, and at the very top they pinned a red silk rose that Moominpappa had once upon a time given Moominmamma as a present.
Everybody brought the most beautiful thing he had to placate the incomprehensible powers of winter.
From "The Fir Tree", last in Tove Jansson's collection Tales from Moominvalley.