Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

I have nothing against fake Christmas trees, well, I take that back…I have nothing against the people who own fake Christmas trees. Some of my favorite people in the whole, wide world decorate and gather round absolutely gorgeous counterfeit foliage every Christmas.
I, on the other hand, just can’t do it.
Every year as my sweetie and I snuggle up to trudge through the Black Friday ads, he elbows my side over every single plastic tree deal. You see, this is one of those little things in our marriage that we will never, ever agree on. He dreads chopping down our own Christmas tree every year, and I happen to love it. Seriously. I love getting bundled up, donning my little ones in hats and mittens and setting out on an adventure to search for our tree amidst a forest of hundreds. I love that our trees have great character. They are not pretty, in the eyes of most. They are weathered and sparse, and sometimes have two trunks, and sometimes have to be balanced by a ten pound dumbbell duct-taped to one side to keep them from toppling over {true story}, but they are beyond beautiful to me.
They exude character and life and contain a uniqueness all their own.
We came to a compromise a few years back, after a particularly disastrous year of little girls stuck in snowdrifts up to their chests in the middle of the Pike National Forest. Now, we visit the Merry Christmas Tree Farm up the road. There is no more hiking through 18 inches of snow in the National Forest, but we still get to peruse acres of forest land scattered with 6500 Scotch Pine, find our {im}perfect tree, and cut it down ourselves.
It’s still not a flawless system. This year, our four year old boy had a meltdown in the toe-numbing cold. I ended up trekking him and baby brother back to the car while Dad & the girls sawed down the tree - but we made lots of memories, and have a beautiful Charlie Brown tree to show for it. A tree that upon most first impressions, receives the reaction: “Oh…{silence}…did you cut that down yourselves?”

To which I always respond, “Yes, and I love it!”
And I do. I love the tree. But more, I love what it represents. That one little tree, standing in my living room represents more than just family time, and the onset of the Christmas season, and eternal life which the evergreen branches symbolize…my imperfect tree also reminds me that while others may see it as damaged or flawed, I see it’s simple beauty, it’s strength, and it’s majesty. I am not perfect. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are not perfect…but we have a Savior who sees our simple beauty, our strength, our majesty. We can rise to our great potential which He sees within us, or we can become what everybody else sees on the outside.
My little cockeyed tree helps me remember those precious things every year. I would say those thoughts of encouragement and divinity are worth the chapped cheeks, the occasional boot stuck in the snow, and the vacuum full of pine needles. So sorry sweetheart…I think I’m winning this one!


Rachel. said...

This is perfect. That Linus has a lot of wisdom. I also like his remarks on the Great Pumpkin, who visits the most sincere pumpkin patch.

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