Saturday, December 3, 2011

O Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas tree today, and can I just say? ~ I think that is one of the holiest parts of the Christmas season.  I know you might find that hard to swallow.  The Christmas tree, after all, has pagan origins.  But then, so do a lot of the rituals we enjoy this time of year.

The whole experience is beautiful to me.  It's one of my favorite days of the year.  I'm with my family, the four of us enjoying each other as we good-naturedly discuss the merits of different trees:  that one is too symmetrical; that one is not symmetrical enough; that one has too big of an "against-the-wall" spot; that one is too "bushy" looking, etc.  But there's something loving about the process of choosing.  It matters.  We put a whole lot more thought into it than we do when we decide what to have for dinner.  It's part of the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and so it matters. 

~ "God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight" ~
Genesis 2:9

Then we bring it home, and although the Apple of my Eye would probably rather tie it to the top of our SUV, I love to stick it in the back, even if it has to hang out the rear window.  The smell inside the car is heavenly.  And then we get it home and set it up, and soon the fragrance pervades the house.  When I get up in the morning, and open the bedroom door, the smell hits me, and is wonderful.  It's fresh and crisp and it makes me feel thankful.

~ "The house was filled with the fragrance" ~
John 12:3

The Christmas tree is a beautiful sight at every stage.  I love it when it's undecorated, appreciating it for its "tree-ness".  I wonder where it grew; and I hope it was in a place where it got snow ~ that's good for a tree.   But I also love it when we get the lights on it: sparkling color and brightness.  Every year I think we should stop decorating at that point.  No ornaments, just lights.  It's simple and sweet.  But then we get the ornaments out, and they are so much fun.  Each one a memory.  Some are from many, many years ago.  Some belong to my children, and I know the day will come when those ornaments will move out of my home, along with my children.  But not yet.  So we choose a perfect location for each ornament as we laugh over the memories they inspire.  Memories are such a blessing, aren't they?

~ "A good and honest life is a blessed memorial" ~
Proverbs 10:7

Every tradition of Christmas is a joy in its own way; some big, some small.  The Christmas tree is a big one ~ literally.  It changes our home, and for a month we cannot forget its presence, and the birthday it represents.  Which means, in a beautiful way, it serves a holy purpose.

~ "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" ~
Luke 2:14

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