The tree was a sapling spruce. Dad cut it from the fence line in the west pasture. A homemade star of foil-covered cardboard sparkled on the top spire. Strings of popcorn and cranberries draped over the scraggly boughs. The folks clipped brass candle holders onto the tips of the branches. Twenty-four small white pillars nestled among the short green needles and waited. Dad carefully lit each candle, then nodded to Mom. She extinguished the lantern. On that Christmas Eve long ago, the reflection of the glowing candles sparkled in the eyes of a young mother, father and their small girl and boy. A sense of wonder surrounded them, and for three short, enchanting minutes they felt in their hearts that nothing could be more beautiful.