Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trimming the Tree

            Tonight my parents, brother, his fiancée, and I got together to trim our Christmas tree. It was fun, but not like the old days when I was young. When I was little, we lived where there were lots of trees, smaller ones, and we would go out and find one, chop it down, and bring it home. We would have to let it drip dry for a day or so, before we would move it to its trimming destination in the living room.
            On the designated evening we, my parents, sister, brother and I, would gather in the living room for the trimming of the tree. It was always my dad's job to put the lights on. Then, he would sit back in his chair and watch the rest of us put the garland and ornaments on. It was a great family time. We would listen to Christmas music and eat treats that always included chocolate covered cherries. Never a Christmas went by without them!
            One year, after the Christmas, while the tree was still up, I found a worm crawling on the floor. It must have come from the tree I thought. I put it in a jar with some toilet paper, poking holes in the top so oxygen could get in. I waited a couple weeks making sure that it was still alive, but then it seemed to disappear. I kind of forgot about it until one day, I looked into the jar and there was a little moth. Apparently, the worm had "disappeared" into the toilet paper to make a cocoon and immerged a changed creature. This was my first experience of a "butterfly" and it was rather exciting.
            As the years have gone by so our Christmases have changed. We no longer have a real tree and dad no longer puts the lights on because the fake tree already has them. We no longer gather as a core family because others have been added. My sister has a family of her own. We see them every other Christmas. Just not the same as it was. Not that it's bad. We simply have new traditions, new little minds to fill with the joys of Christmas. My brother has someone new too. Soon they also will have their own Christmas traditions, a combination of both our family and hers.
            And for me, well, Christmas is difficult for me this year. Last year my boyfriend joined our family in our festivities, but this year he is non-existent. He's gone, gone searching for some purpose and I don't know when I will see him again. I try not to be a grinch even though I want to cry every time I see my brother and his girl. I love them, but they are sore reminders of the one person that I want to be with.
            The star sits on top of the Christmas tree. It twinkles in the Christmas lights. It reminds me that I am being led along life to a baby in a manger, who is also my Savior. There is hope in the midst of the hopelessness that I feel. The star tells the story. I must simply be willing to travel the long journey that the wise men did so long ago to find the Hope for all people.

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