98. Decorating the Christmas Tree

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One of the favorite American holidays is Christmas. The holiday has a special meaning to most Americans today. It is an official government holiday celebrated on December 25. Most Americans get both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve off from their jobs so that they can spend time with their families. Many people are busy buying gifts for their loved ones in preparation for the big day. Christmas day is the time when families open presents that they have given each other. The presents are wrapped in beautiful paper, and usually include a colorful bow and a tag with a person's name on it. These presents are placed under a tree that is brought into their home and decorated with bright ornaments by the entire family.

When Michelle was a little girl, she loved helping her mom and dad decorate the Christmas tree. It all began by going to a Christmas tree lot, where vendors sold freshly cut trees to the public. Families can walk through the lots to pick the tree that is right for them. Michelle loved going to shop for a tree because of the sweet aroma that would come from the trees. "I like this one, daddy," Michelle said. "It's perfect," her dad agreed and bought the tree. It was just the right size, with full, green branches.

Once the tree was brought home, Michelle helped her mother place the tree in the right spot, and began decorating it. Her brothers and sister would help, too. This was always a great family tradition. They put a string of flickering lights around the tree, along with pretty ornaments of different kinds. Each family member got to place their own special ornament on the treeMichelle turned to her fatheranted to. The colors blue, red, yellow, and red would blink on and off and would shine brightly, reflecting off the ornaments. As the family stood and viewed the decorated tree, all were smiling. Michelle turned to her father and said, "Thank you, daddy."

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