Every year I threaten, prod, and manipulate my children into agreement. I take our teenagers to the annual Christmas tree lighting in our downtown area and we watch as a family. It’s fun because both of us consistently get warm chocolate to sip and set on a blanket visiting with our neighbors while both of us wait patiently for the lighting ceremony. Last year, but, the evening didn’t go quite the way as both of us had planned. When both of us arrived, it was even colder than we think is normal. I made sure the teenagers had extra layers of clothing on, and both of us certainly opted to go to set up early. About an hour before they were set to light the tree, I actually began to feel ill. I was shivering, and I knew that I wouldn’t be readily able to last in the chilly weather, so I had to unhappily take the teenagers lake beach house early. When both of us made it home, I immediately got the oil furnace running at full blast, and I decided to sleep on the old scratchy couch so that I could be directly beneath an air vent. The oil furnace was nice and warm enough to get myself and others feeling a little better, but I still knew that I was really coming down with some kind of terrible sickness. I hated that the teenagers had to miss the tree lighting ceremony, however the only way both of us could have stuck it out would have been if both of us had somehow brought some sort of portable heater. Next year, I’ll plan ahead for that contingency because that is a tradition that I don’t want them to have to miss again!