Kristy stepped into her house and was immediately assaulted by the smell of freshly baked cookies. The sound of a vacuum cleaner running upstairs told her that mom was cleaning the house. Not your run-of-the-mill regular cleaning but only-before-Christmas-move-everything-and-clean-every-nook-and-cranny cleaning. Kristy hung her coat in the front hall closet and stepped out of the foyer into the living room.
In the living room, a large Christmas tree stood against the back wall. It wasn’t a plastic and wire tree with lights built into it. No, this was a real pine tree complete with twisted branches, the odd pinecone or two, and even a real pine tree smell. Kristy smiled. She loved Christmas trees.
Two boxes sat on the coffee table, indicating that dad was about to start decorating the tree. Kristy didn’t want to miss that, but first she had to find out what was producing the heavenly smell coming from the kitchen. Stepping through the doorway, she came face to face with someone that she hadn’t expected to find there.
“Grandma!” Kristy yelled and gave her grandmother a big hug. “I didn’t think that you were getting into until tomorrow.”
“I caught an earlier flight,” Grandma explained with a laugh. “I hope that that’s alright with you, Kristy.”
“Of course it is, Grandma,” Kristy said. “It smells like you’re baking cookies.”
“Oh, so you’re only happy to see me because of my cookies?” Grandma said with a twinkle in her eye. “I suspected as much. Here, have one.” She offered the pan to Kristy. “Be careful; they’re still hot.”
“Thank you, Grandma,” Kristy said. She took the cookie and headed into the living room. Dad was there now, unpacking the tree ornaments from their yearlong cardboard crypts.
“Hi, daddy. Getting ready to decorate the tree?” Kristy asked.
“Not without you, sweety,” Dad answered. “Why don’t you help me put the lights on the tree and then we can hang the ornaments.”
“Okay, daddy,” Kristy agreed. She bounced over to the stereo and turned it to a local station. Christmas music filled the room as Kristy we to help her father. This week was getting better and better!