The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, is an old Appalachian tale, passed down by the author's grandmother. The story goes where a small Appalachian town chooses a different family each year to find the perfect Christmas tree for the church. Ruthie and her father are chosen, and her and her father go tag a tree on the nearby mountain. Soon afterward, Ruthie's father is called off to war, and her and her family are left to live meagerly. When Christmas time comes, the town preacher visits them and tells them he has selected another family to follow through with the tradition on choosing the town tree. Ruthie's mother is upset, as she would like to keep their word. On the night of Christmas eve, Ruthie and her mother climb the mountain with horses and a sled, cut down the tree, and drive it into the town while everyone is sleeping. When everyone awakes and comes to church on Christmas day, everyone is surprised to see the tree and Ruthie is surprised to see an angel on top of the tree. She was so dazzled by the angel that she does not see her father standing there.