It is still amazing to me, how much larger our front yard seemed to me than it does now. We played hours of football in that yard. Christmas and Thanksgiving days were for sure the six of us were going to play football in that yard. Most Christmas's I was sick with a sore throat. The coldness of those days is still a vivid memory of mine. That is possibly why my throat was sore all winter long. Grandmother's expert opinion was that I needed my tonsils removed. She, for years told everyone that my tonsils needed to be removed. Finally when I was sixteen, she found that Daddy had insurance. This was discovered after he had died. Two weeks after his funeral I was in the hospital getting rid of those tonsils. This just so happened to be the week before Christmas, also. Holiday's seemed, in our family to be the time for dysfunction. Death, fires, and my tonsils are the main things I can group as dysfunction. There was also, the drinking, but that was every Christmas, so I don't count that as tragic dysfunction. It was a given that all the children would come to Grandmother's for Christmas dinner and we would open presents. We drew names for many years when we were little that was the way everyone would get one present to open during the celebration of Christmas. The one special gift that will always warm my heart was a long dress that my aunt made for me. For some reason that Christmas I had it in my mind that dresses to my feet were the height of fashion. I really don't remember everyone else at school wearing them. I think I got this expert fashion advice from my girl cousin. They had a long dress, so I wanted one, too. Her mother made me one like the one's she made my cousins. I was so proud of it I put it on to play football in the front yard. It was pink and green in the plaid that hound’s-tooth is now. In the picture that day I am red faced from the cold in my new long dress that my aunt gave me for Christmas. The Christmas tree, on the table was behind us in the photo; our family, Mama, Daddy, my little brother and me. We had a cedar tree that was perfectly picked, by me and my little brother. For days; even weeks after Christmas I would notice every cedar tree I passed. I would always find trees that would have been better than the one we had used that Christmas. I still notice them along the road and think of what a good Christmas tree that would make. At the time we were using Cedar trees, I wished for the kind that was bought in stores. You always wish for what you can't have. A Cedar is really not the correct tree for a fancy Christmas, but many memories glorify the happiness that the, go-to-the-woods tree brought many of us. We gathered those trees with the same zeal and enthusiasm as we gathered all of the things that we enjoyed doing.