An Imperfect Christmas
You’d think I would have known better. Our family has a track record of small calamities every Christmas, but there I was again, planning the perfect Christmas season for my family.
Charlie Brown Tree
Christmas that year was spent at my husband’s family’s farm, way out in the countryside east of Toronto. It was a hundred-acre farm, and the evergreen trees grew down "in the back forty", as local farmers described the farthest reaches of their property. "We should go down and cut a tree," my husband said, eyes smiling with anticipation. "Of course," I said. "Why spend money on a tree when we have so many right here at the farm?" We invited our two daughters to accompany us, but they wisely declined. It was, after all, a cold day, and it had snowed the day before. No need to ask our pet dog, Barclay, if he wanted to walk in the snow. He loved it. We clipped on his leash and set out. It was a bright sunny day, and though the snow sometimes made it difficult to walk downhill, we chatted as we went, laughing at Barclay’s antics in the snow. We scrutinized the trees, rejecting some because they were too big, too small, or