Putting up the Christmas tree


               December 20, 1969

               David and Kyle carry an enormous Scotch Pine into the living
               room. Snow, twigs and needles fall from it as they struggle
               to put it upright in the corner. Mark is watching from
               beside the open door. Estelle enters from the dining room.

                              The door is wide open. This place
                              will be freezing in minutes!

               She goes to the door, closes it, and leaves the room for a
               moment. She returns with a heavy cable knit cardigan that
               she drapes over Mark's shoulders.

                              I'm not an invalid anymore,
                              darling. You don't have to fuss.
                              I'm plenty warm. I left the door
                              open so the boys could get the
                              tree through it. I was going to
                              close it, I just wanted to help.
                              This is the first year that I
                              won't have an active part in
                              putting up the tree.

               A light rap is heard, and Estelle opens the door. The twins
               stand on the porch holding a big box.

                              We strung some popcorn and
                              cranberries for your tree, Mrs.

                              Oh how nice of you. Come in, come
                              in. It looks like the boys could
                              use some help. The tree seems to
                              be defeating them.

               She laughs lightly and nods towards the living room where
               the tree is lying on its' side. David crawls out from under
               it as Kyle lifts the top branches off of him.

                              It's a good thing you're still
                              wearing your coat and hood. Those
                              branches might have done some
                              damage to that thick skull of

               The girls leave the box in the foyer and go to help Kyle
               lift the tree up. When David is out from under, he helps
               the others lift it into a large tree holder. The boys
               tighten the screws into the trunk and stand back to survey
               their handiwork.

                              Those needles could have put an
                              eye out!

               She lightly touches a few minor scratches on David"s face.

                              What were you thinking? You tried
                              to put up an eight foot pine all
                              by yourselves! You should have
                              waited for us.


               Leave him alone, Em. You're such an old mother hen! We would
               have gotten that tree up by ourselves ... eventually.

The End

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