Some piney afflictions can be overcome using the powers of a hot glue gun, some tumbleweeds and a bit of motherly ingenuity.
Miles away from the gingerbread and roaring fireplaces I would one day hold dear, I spent my first three Christmases sick in the hospital. No one knew why. It could not have been because of the actual holiday—we were Scandinavian-German-American Lutherans after all. The season’s spices of cardamom and nutmeg flowed though our blood. We were born knowing the words to all the carols. My mother owned more Santa figurines than shoes. We chopped down our own tree in the
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