Oh Christmas Tree

There is nothing like walking into the living room in the middle of the night with all the lights off except the Christmas tree. There is something about curling up on the sofa, wrapped in your favorite blanket, and just staring at the glow. One by one I think of all the ornaments that decorate it. There is the wooden donkey that my Sunday school teacher brought back from Jerusalem when I was in the 6th grade. Next to that I see the ceramic angel that Ms. Brown gave to me when I was the only child who didn’t win one in the game they were playing at the party. Close to the top of the tree I see the tiny angel hugging her knees with her halo askew that we always used as our tree topper when I was growing up. She has really seen some rough times, but although a little stained, she is still beautiful. Farther down the tree is the quilted ornament that was made by my great grandmother and passed on to me my first Christmas as a married woman. There are the Hallmark ornaments that commemorate our first Christmas together, our baby’s first Christmas, our first Christmas in our new home, etc. There is the beautiful silver dove that commemorates my late mother-in-law. There are many hand-made ornaments that our children have contributed over the years. When I look at our tree, no matter how big or small it is, I see not just a tree, but I see love. I see a representation of years well spent with people who matter. I see the kindness of people who have been important in my life, some just for a short while. I see a tree also whose life was cut short so that I could have the beauty of it in my home.

I have some friends who like to argue with me that the tree has nothing really to do with Christmas. I would beg to differ. My tree represents many things. First, that tree died so I could have something beautiful. That represents Christ’s sacrifice for me. The ornaments that adorn it are reminders of love and beauty of character, both things that Christ came to show us. The ratty ornaments that have seen better days remind me that no matter how soiled I get, the Father still sees beauty in me and worth. The lights are representative of the stars that were in the sky the night He was born in a manger. The angel on top is a reminder of the angel that told of His birth. And, of course, the cats and dog that are all up in the tree could represent the stable animals that the Holy family shared that night with (although it is doubtful the stable animals made such a mess of the Holy family’s living room.) I’m just sayin…