Growing up, this time of year seemed truly magical. Getting to stay up later than usual, wearing cozy matching pajamas, sugary treats everywhere you looked. Houses glowing from the inside out made our regular driving routes seem like a theme park adventure.
More than anything, I remember coming home to our Christmas tree. It beamed with welcoming from the street, and every little ornament had a story to tell. There was a photo of me with a bad haircut glued to construction paper shaped like a church bell. Then there were my mother’s antique German ornaments that had survived not only a fire but a previous year’s tree crashing to the ground. We would decorate the tree together and tell the stories of each bauble as we hunted for the perfect limb to hang it on.