Friday, December 21, 2012

O Tannenbaum



Cold rain pelted down as we trudged through row after row of trees at the Christmas tree farm. The wind blew relentlessly, further dampening our spirits with each downpour. Our quest for the perfect tree was relentless, until we finally settled on a huge white pine.

Out came the chain saw as the tree was unceremoniously cut down. In my excitement, I thought it looked even bigger as it was carried to the trailer. But we finally had our tree!

Rain fell continuously all day, so the tree was too wet to bring into the house that day. Peering through the dark when I came home the next evening, I saw that the trailer in the driveway was empty. They had brought the tree in!


I walked into the house and immediately smelled fresh pine. Its heady scent was wonderful! As I went into the living room, I stopped in my tracks. This tree was enormous! How is it that the trees always seem bigger when we get them home? I walked around the tree, looking up and feeling astonished at its height, but secretly joyous, too. I felt confident I could make it into the most beautiful Christmas tree ever!


We always have to have a really big tree, and this one might just be the biggest one we’ve ever had. It towers into the peak of our ceiling, in all its wild and natural beauty. Even undecorated, I welcomed this beautiful specimen into my living room.

It’s never easy to decorate a tree this size, and the living room is filled with ladders as we try to drape lights over boughs more than a dozen feet off the ground. This tree tops out at more than fifteen feet tall, and there’s really no way to reach the peak to add a tree topper. That should dispel the annual argument of angel-verses-star for the top of the tree; there won’t be either one. It’s just too hard to reach!

Finally the lights are on, and the boxes of ornaments begin to empty. It will take most of my collection of more than 400 ornaments to make this tree look full. And believe me when I say it takes at least a few days to hang this many ornaments on the tree.


But with diligence, it’s beginning to look like a Christmas tree as cherished ornaments are unwrapped one by one along with the stories they hold. In addition, a few new ornaments are also added each year. Some treasured ornaments are older than I am. Others commemorate the first Christmas of each of our sons. 

Many ornaments are hand made, but the collection includes lot of glass ones, too. Three have broken already this year, slipping off the smooth pine boughs even as they were hung. It seems to be an annual ornament casualty count at our house.

Sometimes ornaments are given to me by friends and family, knowing that I have a large tree and might have room for some they no longer wish to display.

All are welcome on my tree, and the finishing touch will be to drape the garlands of beads and ribbons. To be honest, my first thought for decorating this tree when I saw it in m living room was to keep it a rustic woodland tree by simply stringing popcorn and cranberries in garlands to drape over the boughs.

While that design would have been simply lovely, it wouldn’t have been our traditional tree. You see, we really decorate the tree, putting more decorations on our tree than anyone I know. Each treasured ornament gets placed lovingly, proudly displayed for the holiday.

When the decorating is complete, I will share some more pictures. So, if you’d like to check back, you can see what the finished masterpiece looks like. It truly is a labor of love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



Well, I’d better get back to decorating my tree. I hope you treasure the simple joys of this holiday season; spending time with family and friends, and all of your special traditions. I pray the greatest gift you receive this Christmas is the gift of Peace, which comes if we keep our focus on the true reason for the season.



Many blessings to your and your loved ones. And a very Merry Christmas! 

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