There is something about celebrating a holiday with your family that establishes a place in your heart as a home. Although we’ve owned Heiser Hollow for 4 decades, perhaps the lack of heated bedrooms and showers had always discouraged us from overnight trips in the winter. Now that we’ve finished the cabin, this year seemed like a good time to spend Christmas in the woods.
On Christmas eve, Elizabeth and I drove to a local tree farm, cut down a spruce we particularly liked, and threw it in the truck bed, in the hopes that the new tree stand would actually work. It turns out that even with an emphasis on acorns, wood, straw, and other ornaments either made from or depicting natural things, we had more than enough baubles to hang from the tree. We included 3 ornaments that Mom made from scratch when she and Dad were first married, the cardboard “Santa’s Breeding Farm” ornament that I made in the 2nd grade (or 12th—the details are dim), some early work by Kirk, and what may well have been the highlight of our short time in Indian Guides, three glass balls with paint dribbled on the inside.
Kirk drove in from college, and Mom & Dad drove across the county, and lacking any convenient attachment points near the chimney, we hung our stockings with care on the bannister. After a couple of drinks, we all nestled snug in our beds.