For the Love of Christmas Trees
I am a hoarder of Christmas trees. There I said it! I love everything about them; size, shapes, aroma, and the feel of the needles. Now I must confess, that most of my trees are artificial, however, I always include two-four foot table top live trees. The scent of those two trees carries me back to a more peaceful time when loving simple gifts were exchanged and family abounded in a house filled with the smell of Christmas cookies, laughter, and singing. When a train traveled from a scenic town through mountains, countryside and back to where it began on a track lovingly put together by a father who loved Christmas.
Fourteen trees adorn my Victorian home. Each tree has special meaning to me and tells a story. When you think about it, Christmas and trees are the pinnacle of remembering the past, smiling at things that tug at our hearts, yearning for the sweet smell and taste of freshly baked sugar cookies cut into shapes of bells and stars, singing along to carols as you gathered with your family, or perhaps listening to your dying mother sing Jingle Bells as you pray to God to let her live long enough to see another holiday.
Over the years, I have seen people’s attitude change at this time of year. To me it’s about the gathering of hearts, whether looking at the family tree, enjoying delicious food, the laughter of silly things that always seems to happen whether we are in the kitchen or opening up unexpected, funny gifts. For a few weeks, many put aside hurt feelings, disagreements, and jealousy. I love when family and friends greet one another with genuine love and caring hugs. I believe that God’s heart soars when he sees the hearts of his creation forgiving, caring, helping others and loving unconditionally.
When I think of my trees, I think of all those who will see them. I think about the smiles, the memories each ornament will ignite along with the meaning behind each and every little treasure hanging by a hook on a green branch. I think about the tree that honors the memory of a little baby boy, named Skyler who at twenty-nine days old took his journey to heaven, just seventeen months ago. When I gaze at Skyler’s tree, I imagine him sitting on Santa’s lap and ripping the paper off a big box filled with a special toy. And, I think about the tree, filled with small crocheted white snowflakes honoring a dear sweet senior lady living with advanced dementia. That special tree reminds me of Millie’s once sparkling brown eyes and sweet hug. Oh, how I love her and miss our chats.
Yes, I love Christmas trees. They fill my heart with peace and love, especially the Victorian tree with a small manger nestled at its base. It is because of the birth of Jesus that we celebrate the season.
So, dear readers, what is your Christmas tree sharing with you and your loved ones? What memories fill your heart each time your eyes meander each branch! Maybe our trees are telling us that love is the answer. Maybe if we carry Christmas in our hearts, the world just might be a better place filled with more hope, more compassion, more forgiveness, and more love for all.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Cynthia Jean DeLuca