Becky and Robyn came over, looked at the decorations, and the first thing Becky said was "Beautiful Mom, but it's not Christmas without the stick tree." What is the stick tree? When I first met Ken, in 1986, I also met the tree. At that time, it was 8 years old. Ken was not into Christmas. So the eccentric soul that he is, he had kept his last live tree, and each year cut off the dead branches from the previous, and set it up in the living room with a strand of light wound around the now bare trunk. Thus the tree became a tradition. I took off the lights, and re-decorated it to at least resemble a Christmas tree. Every year, along with the regular tree, the stick tree goes up. This year, it didn't, and I really caught it for not doing so. I didn't think I could find any more room for one more thing! But out of necessity, the tree is up, and yes, it does seem more Christmasy with our tradition in place!