One of my favorite Christmases took place when I was nine years old. We were living in Montana then and my parents decided we should go to an area in the mountains where we could cut down our own Christmas tree. It was bitter cold with about three feet of snow on the ground. None of that seemed to deter us as we drove into the mountains with our tree permit in hand. My dad pulled over to the side of the road, brought out a hatchet and saw from the trunk of the car and off we went to find the perfect tree.
I remember how excited I was at the thought of cutting down our own tree. This would be a better tree, I thought, because it wouldn't come from the tree lot in town. It would be fresh and spicey and perfect. We hunted and hunted but my little sister and I didn't approve of any that Dad chose.
As we searched for the perfect tree my little sister found some acorns on the snowy ground and stuffed them into her coat pockets to take home. I was more interested in finding a tree than gathering acorns, but she was just as excited with her own find.
We located a tree that suited everyone, and my dad cut it down then tied it to the roof of the car. We drove home with our wonderful tree, thrilled with our find. As my dad was busy making a tree stand for it out of scraps of lumber, my sister took the acorns from her pockets and went to wash them in the bathroom sink. She filled the sink with warm water and deposited her treasures. The warm water had a strange effect on the acorns. They began to fall apart and turned the water murky. She called for my mom to come see what was wrong with the acorns. It turned out her acorns were really frozen deer droppings.
Well, you can imagine her horror. She'd had them in her pockets! And she'd touched them! Mom cleaned up the sink, washed my sister's coat and tried to assuage her embarrassment. I, however, found the incident hilarious and teased her mercilessly about her "acorns". It became one of those "precious" family stories, you know the kind, the ones that only serve to continually embarrass someone? To this day, all I have to do is mention acorns to my sister and the fun starts all over again.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!
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