I would never change anything about growing up in Boston. Almost anything. For my early years I remember my mom and dad putting together our tree piece by piece. When we got older my sister and I would present our case to the duel judges for a real one. "It's a fire hazard", or "it's too expensive". Whitey Bulger had a better chance of being acquitted. It was really just a pain in the ass. Then came a Christmas miracle. One year dad said "Saddle up the troops we're getting a real one." WOOOO! Me: "Where are we going"??? NH, Maine or at least to the Blue Hills to cut down a real one right?? Nope. How about a vacant lot in Mattapan where the first thing dad says to the guy warming his hands over an open fire is "these trees suck, where did you steal them from"?? UGH. Then proceeded to negotiate our first real Christmas tree!  It was still a win for my sister and me. Not quite the warm fuzzy cocoa drinking family pic above but if you need some advice on cutting your own tree this year I got it for you. No, not dad. Katheen Fleury is the new Editor in Chief of Down East Magazine. Sandra and I have her on the show every month to preview the new issues. She's a total pro and has her own take on cutting down the family tree. Info here:

Happy Holidays!