We spent Christmas at my parents' house one year. My mother had decorated her living room all in white—carpet, furniture, even the holiday trimmings. It was a picture-perfect scene—until Christmas morning when dad decided to build a fire while we gathered to open gifts. All of a sudden, the house started filling with smoke! Dad had forgotten to open the flue. In a panic, he grabbed the red-hot chain to yank the flue open, and burned his hand. The family packed into the car and sped to the ER.
We spent Christmas afternoon in coats with all the doors open and box fans running to air out the house. For the record, Dad never complained about the professional cleaning bill.Alanna Faith
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