Sunday, December 6

His Name is Tree!

He stands in the corner, nude. He’s tall, green, wide - and artificial. He’s come to be known as Tree.

Until several years ago, I never fully understood why he was so special to me. After all, he’s just an artificial object; yet, his beauty represents something much deeper to me.

Each year after Thanksgiving, we bring Tree up from his long respite in the basement, and we place him in his designated place of honor in our family room. He always seems embarrassed until we dress him.

We hang a multitude of ornaments on his branches. Some sparkle, some are old-fashioned, some are wooden, and some I have made or our kids have made. Tucked in close to his trunk and barely visible are small dolls and bears, resting securely upon his limbs.

A red plaid piece of fabric loosely drapes around Tree’s feet. Interlaced with snowflakes, bows, and white lace angels, tiny white lights give Tree his warm glow. Baby’s breath peeks out from among the branches, filling in the gaps. Encircling Tree is a beautiful plaid ribbon for his garland, and his crowning glory is one special angel: that’s Harold, you know.

Tree appears stationed merely as a backdrop for the ornaments he displays. He is content to hold them up, to give them the safety of resting on his branches. A peaceful composure envelops him, making him oblivious to the blowing snow and chilling winds outside his comfy surroundings.

When the ornament box is empty and Tree is laden to capacity, he seems to heave a sigh of relief, as if now attired and complete for the season. All decked out in his finery, he stands proud, overwhelming not only his corner but also the whole room.

And so, Tree is beautified and glorious, abiding in the present, his back to the past, and his face to the hope of a better new year.

Sometimes at night, I turn off all the lights in the room except Tree’s lights and those on the mantle. I sit and stare at Tree’s beauty. A feeling comes over me that is quite difficult to describe. What comes to mind is the line spoken by the Bishop to his wife in The Bishop’s Wife (my favorite Christmas movie, next to It’s A Wonderful Life). He says, “I have the most inexplicable feeling of happiness.”

As I sit in the warmth of his radiance, I imagine Tree to be, as Isaiah says, that Branch of the Lord, which “shall be beautiful and glorious.” I see Jesus standing in the corner, tall and majestic, filling the room with His presence. And, if Tree were real, he would fill the room with a marvelous fragrance, as the costly frankincense and myrrh brought at Jesus’ birth.

The thought also comes to mind of the tree that had been fashioned into a trough and used as a manger in which Jesus “lay down His sweet head.” Then, my mind fast forwards to the trees in the garden of Gethsemane that overheard the longings of His suffering heart, and to the tree on the hill that bore His body of sacrifice.

The baby’s breath symbolizes the creative Word of God, restoring me with His breath of life, filling in all my gaps. I imagine the dolls and bears representing those who nestle up to the Lord, tucking themselves in close under His branches of protection.

I visualize the ornaments as all the souls of the Lord, the jewels of His royal fashioning. He placed each of us lovingly in the just the right spot, allowing us to hang as resplendent fruit from His limbs, embellishing the body of Christ. His sigh of completion comes only when each of His ornaments is in its rightful place.

Symbolizing Christ as the Light of the world, the lights illuminate all the objects of love hanging from the branches.

The ribbon garland depicts the Holy Spirit encompassing the body of Christ, the church, holding it all together.

The sprinkling of angels reminds me that He gives His angels watch over me, to keep me in all my ways. Harold sits on top of everything, always looking toward the New Year. No matter what has happened in the year drawing its last breath, he seems to point to the peace of a better future.

I sit there, in the dark, and bask in the warmth and love our Tree gives me, whether presents sit at his feet or not. I smile in acknowledgement of his beauty and he seems to smile back at me, as if to say, “It’s okay. Next year will be better. I will live in your heart, for I am evergreen.”

It also reminds me of the scripture, “I am the One who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from Me.” (Hos. 14:8 NLT) And that speaks to me of eternal life.

This year, I wish each of you a Tree of remembrance, to remind you of the manger that held the Babe of Salvation and the cross that displayed the Body of Redemption.

May your feet be firmly planted in the present, your back be to the contrary circumstances of the year now closing, while you face the hope of a better new year ahead. And may the New Year be filled with peace, joy, comfort, success, and the desires of your hearts.



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13 Responses
  1. hip chick Says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I find myself waking early before anyone else in the household is up. I light the tree and am filled with contentment. What a way to start or end the day.


  2. Thank you, Lynn, for giving me a fresh perspective on the Christmas tree. How blessed we are to see the eternal truth in such ephemeral symbols. You have made my Christmas holidays richer.

    Be blessed,

    Lynnda


  3. Lynn,
    My tree and I have a beautiful relationship. Others have scrapbooks, but I have my tree to stroll down memory lane.
    I'll be posting about it next week, but as a Jewish believer, the tree is a beautiful part of my new Christian heritage.
    Thanks for this excellent post. I may have to "borrow" some inspiration!
    And thanks again for sharing as part of the 40 Day Focus.
    Susan


  4. Dawn Wilson Says:

    Yes, I love my "Tree," too, Lynn. I know that the holiday (holy-day)is about more than trees and ornaments and wreaths and treats ... but they do add to our joy at this time of year, don't they? The other night, when I couldn't sleep -- stressed with too many thoughts on my mind preparing for a household of guests -- I sat in the living room with just the tree lights on, and it was glorious. One ornament seemed to capture my thoughts ... it says simply, "Jesus." And as I turned my eyes from the tree to Him, "the things of earth" grew "strangely dim."


  5. SunnySusan Says:

    Thanks Lynn,...this is a perspective I have never heard before. I will never look at my "tree" the same again..thanks


  6. Walk Says:

    Wonderful!


  7. Ernest Says:

    Lynn,

    Great visualisation and symbolism for Advent. Reminding us of God's everlasting love for us and the love which we need to have for him and for each other.

    I often think how we manage to keep our lives so busy that we manage to close out God from our thoughts and feelings.

    I love to use visualisation to project an internal picture of the world around me glittering and shiny and new - renewed as the Kingdom to come. Which is why we wait patiently in hope for it to come.


  8. Lynn

    I've never thought of the Christmas tree in that light before. Definitely, food for thought.


  9. Barbara Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Barbara Says:

    Our Christmas tree has always been special to me. Like you I sit and watch the "tree" with nothing but the lights of the tree on. I guess I've always had those thoughts but never put them into words. Thank you for speaking them for me. Wishing you Christmas all year long.


  11. Hi, it's a very great blog.
    I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
    keep doing!


  12. A beautiful post!


  13. Dannis Says:

    What a wonderful way to look at your Christmas tree! As several others said, I won't look at my tree in the same way. Thanks!