The house was silent save for the crackle of the wood burning in the small furnace. The neighbors’ kids had given her little ones a scare, telling them the rumors that their house had burned down multiple times, once with a young child in it, a young boy who supposedly still haunted the house to this day, but these thoughts were far from her head as she sipped on her hot coffee. She was always sipping on black coffee. Black coffee calmed her. A couple of weeks ago, she had finally made the decision that her kids would go live with her parents about three hours’ drive away. It was not an easy decision, but she knew it was the right one. Now, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of loneliness as she wandered the now empty house. She pictured the boys playing on the couch and snuggling with her by the Christmas tree she usually had standing in the living room around this time of year. That’s when she had the sudden urge to fill every room in the house with the warm light of a Christmas tree. Following this impulse, she worked through the night, pulling all of the old artificial Christmas trees she had sitting in the garage: a frosted white tree, a tall slender tree and a fat green tree. In a matter of minutes, she had them all unboxed. Within an hour, she had the fat green tree fully decorated in all its splendor in the living room. Within another hour, she had the white tree dangling with glittery artificial snow in the boys’ room. By the end of the evening, she had put up a Christmas tree glowing warmly in every room of the house and she felt as if the house was no longer so empty. Something about trees and Christmas decorations always could make her smile.