By Barney Nelson.
I have gradually pared back on my house decorating through the years. I still put up a Christmas tree, but I no longer hunt through the forest to find it. For a while, I used a dried yucca blossom stalk, but several years ago, I got too lazy even to hunt one of those, so I bought an artificial evergreen with lights. For a while I hung ornaments on it, but now I claim to like it with just lights. Back when I did hang ornaments, I had sort of weird taste. On my Christmas tree always hung a small wreath made of black bear claws. The claws were the last remnants of a bear my mother shot. I once owned a rug made from its hide, but through the years, deterioration gradually consumed the fur. So I made a Christmas ornament before I tossed the rest.
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