Come Christmas time my father would begin to act like Santa Claus!! We ho-ho-hoed all the way out to a farm in Kentucky and got a tree, then we came home and did the cookies and hot cocoa bit! One year we got a tree that some animals hit first, so we took it out, washed it and then brought it back in! When we finally got the tree trimmed the lights had to be perfectly spaced. We put our stools around it. Left cookies and milk for Santa, read lots of stories.

It was always hard to get to sleep on Christmas Eve. When we were tucked in, we’d lie there with eyes wide open. Without too much waiting time we’d hear jingle bells from a distance,

(Yep, Daddy had started at the bottom of the hill!), then get closer to the window until they disappeared. We got really into this tradition. It took us years to peer out the window to check on Dad’s progress but then we had guessed long ago by the sound of the bells which appeared hung inside the house after Santa had mysteriously come.