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Christmas Glee Tree
Play it again Nat
If i remember right, it was Nat King Cole who sung....."O Christmas tree! O Christmas Tree! Much pleasure thou can'st give me; O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Much pleasure thou can'st give me; How often has the Christmas tree, afforded me the greatest glee! O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Much pleasure thou can'st give me".
I was just a little girl when this carol was played many times over at our home, and being a musical family, we loved to sing along. But, there was, and is, something about Christmas trees.
It's not just a tree
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year-.Charles Dickens
Maybe for some, it's just a silly tree, and a needless extravagance. But i love Christmas trees. All kinds. It symbolizes many things for me, like family love and joy. I think about my folks who are gone now, and how they gave so much of themselves to make us happy. I remember dad's prayers over traditional sumptuous Christmas dinners, so lovingly prepared by mom. His was a prayer reverencing a good God, and thanking Him for our family and for abundant provisions. No matter that life did not turn out as we deemed it, there was the 'unseen' hand that saw us through our quagmire. By His grace, child-like faith remained intact, and in fact would grow. Thanks to our beautiful parents who had invested so much love in their children's formative years. So, I will see a pine tree anywhere, say in a farm, those commercially cut and sold during the holidays, and the ones we painstakingly decorate in our homes, and voila! Like some magic, conjurings of joy will well up within my soul.
In places i have traveled, many times i have been awestruck by the magnificence and lavishness of God's creation. It is in communing with nature that i have worshipped and loved on God, with indescribable intimacy. It is also where i have found catharsis and healing. Once, I stood gazing at a spectacular ice crystal frost covered forest, a scene after a snow storm. I sensed a supernatural embrace like a heavenly validation. The timing coudn't have been more perfect. I had just been through brokenness and great loss, and could hardly begin to pick up the pieces of my life. I remembered a scripture, which, at that very moment, spoke to me. Like a whisper, i heard Papa God say "You are the apple of my eyes". I cried tears of gratitude mixed with joy as i took it all in. I was at peace, and felt so secure. In reflecting on the vastness and splendor of creation, i have seen how fragile and puny i am, and yet, loved, so extravagantly by my Creator. That indeed, i am richer than i think, because when i consider things, surely, He has not withheld any good thing from me. And that blessing goes to all mankind.
There's something about Christmas trees, which goes beyond it's physical structure. There's the legend that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth. Now how more spontaneous can things get? I mean, a simple walk outdoors brings about an unexpected Divine encounter and communion, filled with wonder, joy and praise. Like a miracle that cannot be explained, it also cannot be contained. The lighted tree continues to delight.
This year we thought of lavishing our 6 year old grand daughter her very first Christmas tree. Not only was it meant to surprise and delight, we wanted her to know of our unconditional love. We drove our little princess to WalMart, and led her to the Garden section filled with trees of all size and colors. She was as if back in Disneyland, yet not knowing what to make of things. Then we popped the words, c'mon, pick a tree. And for a moment of maybe self-doubt, she asked, "For me?". We went home with a small lavender self lighting tree, and trimmings of her very own choosing. And, really, why not? Isn't God that way with us? When we think about it, we get a lot of things we don't deserve.
On Christmas eve, at our home, before our family partakes of the Lords bounty, we will sit by the little tree, and tell a little girl the greatest story and gift ever bestowed on mankind. Maybe, she will understand uncondional love because it has been demonstrated.
What's in your tree?
A Christmas Wish
My prayer this Christmas season is for everyone to experiece joy in the midst of uncertainty we have in this world. We may feel helpless, and distressed by the enormous problems we face day in and day out, but we cannot allow ourselves to lose hope. In everything, give thanks. It's so liberating! Love the unlovable. Forgive, give, and just keep giving. That's what the tree is really all about. You know, the cross where Jesus paid the price, for the love of us. Start with the baby in the manger, and follow his star. It's still shining today.
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!
YOU ARE LOVED, MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW.