After milking and chores were done and we had trimmed the Christmas tree, mom dressed my sister and I and, with dad, we went for a walk. The hard snow squeaked underfoot. The air was very cold and still. It pulled at our nostrils. The moon was so bright we could see our shadows and the mountains far away. We four walked to our rock overlooking our valley. The creek murmured far below. We stood looking at the great blue distances and the star strewn sky and the measure of immensity. We joined hands and walked back to the light and warmth of our home. Christmas had arrived. —Stanley Veyhl This story took place in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York in 1945.