I’m sitting here in the light of the Christmas tree, thinking about how much I’ll miss writing here in the mornings, when it’s time to take it down. I really don’t tire of the tree. I do tire of all the rest of it, after a while, but the tree with it’s lovely glow in the darkness is calming to me. Nostalgic.

Our first Christmas as a married couple, Kevin told me he knew just where to get a tree and would bring one home after class. We were married in the middle of college, and lived in what was then called “married housing.” Little did I know that, in an effort to save money, he had spotted a tree in the wild, and decided he would just go cut it down and bring it home. When he got there, however, it was dark, but he commenced with the sawing and the schlepping of the tree, anyway. Then he heard the scraping of hooves and the low snorting of a bull, not so happy to have an unknown cowpoke in the neighborhood. Somehow, he managed to get that tree and escape with both it and his life. He strapped, what ended up being, a much bigger tree than he’d originally thought to the top of his tiny car and sped off for home.

We had to trim almost half the tree branches to get that thing in the door, and, once in, and in the stand, we both looked down at the one string of lights I’d purchased and the four ornaments we had (did I mention we were in college??). It was a pitiful sight, especially when I took a little cardboard angel napkin ring and used it as a topper, but it worked. Well, at least until our cat marked it as his own, covering all traces of magical evergreen scent with something, well, less magical.

Since we had to drag that one out immediately, we splurged and bought our first artificial tree. Then, we began the process that has continued for 30 years, by gathering ornaments from vacations, or getting them in exchange with friends, or receiving them from family. Some denote specific school years of the girls, complete with their school photos and others with their fingerprints. Now I have pics of the grandkids in the mix, too, this year with some wonderful woodblock ornaments they gave me at early Christmas. But still hanging there are the original four ornaments (the cardboard angel fell apart long ago), making me smile every year.

Yes, sitting here in it’s light, I realize that I love that tree because it displays, in one lovely flourish, everything that’s most important in our lives. Representations of faith, family, love, commitment, peace, and true joy, hang there on precious display, helping me remember where we’ve been and how far we’ve come…making me so thankful for what we have.


“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:20 ESV