Lets Make Tracks
A Christmas Story
A Max and Charles Nature Adventure
By Susan Yaruta-Young
GRANDPA SHOUTS, “Let’s make tracks!” as he, brothers Max, eleven, and Charles, eight, head into woodlands for the perfect Christmas tree and greens for holiday wreaths. The Adventure begins. Grandpa shows them traces of Civil War-era snake fences and a fallen American chestnut, now a “nurse log” for saplings. The boys cut mistletoe after a scary climb up pinesappy branches and tangled vines. Back in Grandma’s baking-scented kitchen, Max and Charles learn how to weave greens and holly into wreaths for graves. Later, at the cemetery, Grandpa points to where the haunting statue of “Grief” once stood. “This is still a popular spot to see ghosts,” he suggests. The boys scurry to the van.Home again, and after tree-trimming and cookie-baking, Max and Charles, family and friends, feast on festive foods. Dutch friend Jean shares childhood stories of St. Nick, who sometimes filled wooden shoes with coal, not candies. Traditional carols. Mistletoe kisses. Day turns into magical night as Grandpa plays his violin and all fall under the spell.