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Volume II
December 24, 2003


One winter activity stands out from the myriad of holiday memories tucked in the recesses of my mind. My mom planned the event, despite our moans and groans and whys (all of which must've been very discouraging)! Her plan consisted of creating popcorn and cranberry garland, driving to the South Hills (or in our vernacular the mountains), decorating a tree for the birds, and then enjoying a picnic in the snow-covered forest.

She spent time making homemade chili and hot chocolate for the occasion, which she transported in insulated containers to keep them warm. She also involved her children in the creation of the popcorn garlands. Mom emphasized that after the birds ate the popcorn, they could use the string for their nests . . . so our gift would keep on giving.

Bundled up, the entire afternoon found her once-complaining pre-teens happily laughing and joking. As a family we chose one large pine tree to decorate with our homemade garland. Then, brushing snow from a picnic table, we ate our chili and drank hot chocolate until our behinds could sit no longer on the icy metal benches.

The snow, the chili, the company, and the giving to little creatures during the Christmas season make this an enduring and treasured remembrance. The simplest things can mean so much!

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