As hubby and I stared at the boxes stacked on the shelves in our basement storage closet, he looked at me asking, “Which tree do you want to put up? The 7-footer or the 4- footer?”
Somehow, putting up a big tree this year, didn’t seem that important.
A small green tree, about 2 feet high, partially decorated, rested on a storage box, with names of our fur babies. It needed some tender loving care. I carefully removed the tree, and set it outside the closet.
A 2 ½ foot tall white, snowy-covered pine tree (more trunk than branches) stood on the floor, decorated with red garland, next to a foot-high pine tree with burlap-sack covered base. I smiled gazing at the trees, and placed the two outside the closet.
On my favorite glass coffee table in the basement sat a mostly-brown, prelit tree with tiny cylindral-like lights at the branches tips. I lifted the tree, and placed it next to the other three trees.
Hubby assisted by carrying the boxes filled with ornaments to the dining room on the main floor.
The first tree, or ‘fur baby tree’, was missing some names of pets, past and present. Light aqua, pink and red ornaments caught my eye. I wrote the pet’s names in metallic permanent marker on the shiny glass balls until all fur babies were accounted for. I hung snowflake ornaments on the branches, and draped hot pink ribbons on the tree, which rested on a stark white window bench in my office.
The second tree – or marine life tree – was just for hubby and me. Although there begged too many ocean-themed ornaments to pick from, I carefully selected momentos such as the scuba diving ones – bees, reindeer, and people; glass fish ornaments given to me by friends and family; a handcrafted stained glass scallop shell made in Charleston, and a couple ships in a bottle. This bright, happy tree rested on the modern Danish buffet table in the dining room.
I draped a red tablecloth dotted with a black tree pattern, on a small round glass table situated near the French doors in the kitchen. The location was perfect overlooking our backyard, trees, and the field beyond.
On this table, I placed the skinny white snow-covered and meek burlap-based trees next to each other. At the base of the white tree, I leaned a ‘nativity’ matchbox scene, gifted to my husband by a friend at Starbucks. In front of the tiny nativity scene, I placed the Willow Tree angel nativity scene – Joseph, Mary with baby Jesus, a shepherd holding a sheep, and the ox and two lamb. These trees were for Jesus.
And although we didn’t have a huge artificial masterpiece with treetop touching the ceiling, the simplicity of the four trees became meaningful – each in their own way.
So Christmas isn’t about the ‘stuff’, it’s about what’s deep down in your hearts.
It’s about thanking God for everything he’s done for us, and giving up his SON for our sins.
It’s not about US.
It’s about paying it forward to others – in the form of a cup of coffee, opening a door for someone, helping them out with their medical bills, saying a kind word – whatever you can manage.
There’s a poem I discovered online called “The True Meaning of Christmas” by M. S. Lowndes. I’d like to share it with you. Please enjoy.
Jesus Christ was born this day
So many years before
He came a servant to the lost,
Though he was Lord of Lords
We celebrate this joyous time,
Reflecting on His birth
Not born in a mansion, but a stable
As if He had no worth
He came so He could identify
With the human heart of man
And gave His life as a sacrifice,
Offering a better plan
A plan that reconciles us back
To our loving Father God,
Bringing hope and redemption from
Sins ruling, iron rod
For this is the only reason that we
Should celebrate this day,
To become focused on anything else,
Would take the meaning away
So let’s arise with joy in our hearts
And share it with everyone
The meaning of Christmas will always be
The birth of Jesus – God’s son