Excerpt 6

To read from the beginning, click here. To read Excerpt 5, click here.

Trimming the tree on Christmas Eve degenerates into sibling squabbles over tinsel icicles until they find the stocking for Baby Krista.



“I hate that part,” Phil says. “Last year, Grandma yelled at me when I got four or five on one branch. So what if there are a few more?”

“It looks clumpy,” I say.

“So what if it looks clumpy?”

“But it shimmers just right when you can’t see any clumps.”

Wayne follows our argument with interest. He takes two strands of icicles and puts them on a branch. Then he pulls a finger-full from the box, maybe ten strands, and hangs them on another branch. Folding his arms across his chest, he studies both.

“She’s right.” He pulls the clump from the branch.

I smirk at Phil. He gives me a you-think-you’re-so-smart glare.

“Here.” He dumps a glob of icicles into my hand. “Knock yourself out. This part takes too long anyway.”

He stomps out of the room, and I hear him clomping down the basement stairs.

“Well, that kind of blew out the Christmas spirit,” Daddy says.

He doesn’t look at me, but I feel guilty anyway.

Mom shifts in her seat. “Wayne, if you look in the box next to the end table, you’ll find the stockings. Debbie will show you how to tie them to the dining room chairs.”

“But what about the icicles?” he asks.

“Do the stocking first. If you want to do more icicles, you can do it after.” She hands me some yarn. “Don’t hang Phil’s. He’ll do it himself.”

Daddy holds out a small red stocking to Wayne. “This one is Krista’s.”

“You had one ready for Krista?” I ask. Wow, Mom had thought of everything. We didn’t even know if she’d be born yet. How did they know we would have a Krista? Did they have another stocking that said Patrick?

Wayne flips the stocking over so we can read the letters. “B-A-B-Y,” he spells out. “Baby!” He beams at his reading ability.

To read Excerpt 7, click here.

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