On Christmas Eve we go out into the woods to cut our tree and it’s a tree that has grown wild and is more or less a triangular shape. The smell of pine is rich. There are also the cones which leads one of my parents to say, “Why decorate?” The first few hours while the tree stands bare and drips dry onto towels, we are busy with cooking and then eating our oyster stew. In my imagination we eat Christmas cookies by the fire while decorating and it is always a messier version of that, without cookies. But it doesn’t matter. It all gets done, the tree looks beautiful, and I know the ornaments as if they have become the embodiment of those who aren’t here any longer. Then, of course the best part comes last. Bed.