{ the tree }

{ After several hours }  of moving and dragging and sawing and cussing, there was a beautiful, naked Christmas tree standing in the corner, just as is it always had in this hellish month.

My dad and I sat back and marveled at our accomplishment. He put his hand on my shoulder and gave me that "I'm really proud of you" look that only exists in after-school specials and greeting cards. And right then, as if on cue, Barbara arrived.

I still remember the look on her face – dazed, mouth open, eyes just a little teary – when she saw her husband and stepson, covered in pine needles, standing in front of that tree.

And for that one moment, for the first time in my life, I think I actually felt the holiday spirit.

What's your favorite holiday story?