Oh Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas festivities always begin with the arrival of the tree. It’s a ritual my family has honed to perfection (and exhaustion)  over the years.

But this year the tree hunters were met with a surprise. The lot from which they chose to buy had sold out. Its sister location across town had also disposed of all its inventory. Apparently the drought and the dangerous fire seasons had forced some tree growers to suspend operations or close altogether. The lack of growers made for a shortage of trees.

What to do?

The lot attendant pointed to a living Christmas tree still waiting a home. Living trees come with roots and are planted in pots designed to warrant hernia surgery after the holiday. They haven’t been groomed for decoration and may come with gangling limbs like a teenage boy whose arms haven’t caught up with his legs, and his torso lacks proportion.

This tree was no exception.

It had an extra long center trunk with a gap of about twelve inches between the nearest branch and the top. My first impression evoked memories of Charles Schultz and his memorable story of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  In that special Charlie Brown buys the saddest, most unimpressive tree imaginable and attempts to beautify it. As his efforts fail and he is scorned by his friends, Charlie Brown learns the true meaning of Christmas.

His friend Linus quotes Luke 2:8-11:  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

So my tree hunters proceeded to decorate our humble little tree and attempt to make it beautiful. The end result was a good one—a little short perhaps, and a few gaps here and there, but I’m sure the baby Jesus would have found joy in knowing we’d remembered to celebrate His birth. After all, that event initiated God’s plan for all of us to find the path to heaven—we only have to believe.  

Merry Christmas!


54 Replies to “Oh Christmas Tree!”

  1. Thank you for sharing. I love it!

    1. Merry Christmas, Teresa, to you and your family!

    2. Merry Christmas, Teresa!

  2. It is usually the small simple things you will remember in the future. This will be the story you tell years to come, not the years you had a perfect tree.

    1. Well said. Merry Christmas

  3. I bet all of you will remember this tree for years to come and it will continue to make you smile!

    1. I’m sure we will. Merry Christmas.

  4. Barbara Raymond says: Reply

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks.

  5. Danielle McDonald says: Reply

    thank you for sharing

    1. With pleasure.

  6. I’ve never had a real tree, only artificial. So I’ve never been a hunt. But this was a cute story.

    1. An experience waiting for you.

    2. An experience like no other.

  7. I enjoyed the post.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas.

  8. Linda O'Donnell says: Reply

    Yes, we always need reminded about the reason for the season. A co-worker said she wanted to answer her 3 year old grandson’s letter to Santa, but was disappointed that none of the templates online said anything about celebration of a birthday. Thank you for sharing your family tradition.

    1. It’s our belief.

  9. Great way to improvise! We do what we need to do.

    1. For certain.

  10. Catrina Pomerleau says: Reply

    What a beautiful story, one you won’t forget. Merry Christmas!

    1. We have the pictures to remind us as well.

  11. What a beautiful tree. You did a wonderful job making it special. Truly the true meaning of this season is like Linus reminds us the Savior that was born is what we need to focus on this Christmas. Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.

    1. One of my favorite stories.

  12. We’ve had two Christmas trees this way! The first time, my Daddy wanted a live tree but wanted to plant it after. The 2nd time, we’d lost the one Daddy planted to a hurricane in 2004. I wanted another one to plant, so went and bought it. It was a pathetic looking little thing, but it’s grown and is a great tree now!! It never got decorated for Christmas, but that’s ok! I sometimes cut off a few “twigs” to bring in for the smell!

    1. What a great idea!

  13. Thank you so very much for sharing the story of your Christmas tree. I appreciate it, and it is extremely interesting. This article brings such warm memories that invoke a sense of family, and the reminder of what Christmas is really all about.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends!!

    Teresa Hill
    Kinston, NC

    1. Thank you and to your family as well.

  14. Cheryl Shearin says: Reply

    Living trees are wonderful. We try to get one each year to help with a reforestation project. We keep it inside for the winter and replant it in late spring. Wonderful article!

    1. Thank you. Another great idea.

  15. Always loved the Charlie Brown Christmas special – thanks for the reminder of the season!

    1. Charlie Brown helps us all remember the season.

  16. Thank you for this wonderful story which is very special. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and much happiness.

    1. Merry Christmas.

  17. Audrey Stewart says: Reply

    I live on Johns Island, South Carolina. We have a Christmas Tree farm here that has been in business for 35 years, lost most of their trees when an unexpected tornado went through. When I finally was able to travel the main road, I was in shock. We just got an artificial one that year.

    1. I have never experienced a tornado. Wow!

  18. Paula Shreckhise says: Reply

    We gad a four foot artificial tree with pre strung lights but they weren’t working properly. So hubby adapted it and shortened it. It was still pretty with angels and crocheted snowflakes . This year he took off all the lights and replaced them with a few old strings of tiny twinkle lights that are battery powered. I think it looks better. Another tree salvaged! We haven’t had a real tree since I was a kid and we had one every year.

    1. Sounds like hubby is a clever man.

  19. Merry Christmas!!!

    1. Thank you.

  20. Tashia M Jennings says: Reply

    Wishing you and yours the very best this holiday season. A season filled with good health, love, happiness, and peace. Enough to last all year round. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you so much.

  21. A wonderful story to be cherished throughout the years. I loved it and the sweet tree.
    May we all remember the reason for the season.

    1. I couldn’t agree more.

  22. Thank you for sharing. My aunt buys a living Christmas tree every year, then plants it in her back yard.

    1. I’ll bet her yard is beautiful.

  23. Thanks for sharing the story about your little tree. You will have it in your to remember this Christmas. If I am blessed to win a book. I can only read print books.

    1. You are in the drawing Vivian.

  24. Thank you for sharing this story about your family Christmas tree. So glad you found a tree and will enjoy it during Christmas and be able to plant it after Christmas to watch it grow and mature. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

    1. Thank you Carol.

  25. I really love the cover with the horse. Glad you found a tree. Happy Holidays.

  26. Merry Christmas.


  28. Sherry Williams says: Reply

    I’m glad you were able to find a tree. You did well with it. I hope you had a great Christmas. Have a Happy New Year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.