There is much more art to the task of stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree than you might expect.

My mother, brother and I were stringing popcorn. It was my first attempt. Understand, I am the youngest – my sister 6 years my senior and my brother 14 months older than me. My sister had handed out needles and thread.

The process is simple enough. Take a needle and long thread and carefully thread the needle through a piece of popcorn. Repeat the process until you have a nice long string of popcorn and then place it on the Christmas tree for decoration. The problem for me was that every time I tried to push the needle through the popcorn, the darn popcorn would shatter, falling to the floor.

I looked over at my sister. She smiled and threaded another piece of popcorn effortlessly onto the needle. Her strand was almost complete. My brother was moving a little slower, but he was making progress. I had a thread with one piece of broken popcorn on it and a pile of pieces in my lap. This wasn't working. I tried again, and again, the pieces breaking and snapping almost every time and each time the frustration would build – until I shouted, “I can’t DO this!”

My sister snickered. My mother surveyed the situation. “That needle is way too big, Kim,” she said, and began to change the needle and thread for a much smaller one. My sister snickered.

If you asked my OLDER sister today, I’m sure she would still claim that she only gave me the large needle so it would be easier for me to thread it. I still refuse to string popcorn.

Did I mention my sister is much older than me?