When I think back to being a kid and what the holidays meant to me, I enjoyed the preparation for Christmas. Especially, the decorating of the tree. As I got older and my siblings got older the decorating of the tree would fall upon my parents, my sister Ann, and me. My other four sisters and my brother, would all be off doing other things. They were all six to twelve years older than Ann and I, and I'm sure some of them were working or married and on their own at that point.

The four of us would hop in the car and drive the 8 or 9 blocks or so to the Christmas Tree place. There was a family that lived about a mile away that would sell pre-cut trees. My mother would always have the final word on which tree we bought.

Once we made it home with the tree, my father and I would hold the tree up and tighten the bolts on the stand while mother would tell us which way to lean the tree so it was straight. Once that was done, my father and I would put the lights on the tree while my mother played Christmas music on the stereo. When we're done with the lights, then it was time for the ornaments. My mother had antique ornaments that she would always put on the tree first. She would let me handle ornaments that were less valuable or unbreakable. Without fail, after we each put up a couple of ornaments, I would grow bored and lay down on the couch, and watch the Christmas tree lights flash off the ceiling and the wall. Casting different shadows from different branches as they flash on and off. Still, to this day when Chris and I are putting up our Christmas tree, I think back to those great times with my family putting up the family tree. One of the many reasons why I love Christmas.