The Perfect Christmas Tree

  Is there such a thing as a perfect Christmas tree?  I have spent many hours trying to find such a tree.  The first year we were married, my husband was a little impatient and thought a tree was a tree . . .  was a tree.  But he soon learned why the Christmas tree meant so much to me.

   That was my first Christmas to be away from home on Christmas Eve.  I sobbed!  He felt so helpless and didn’t know quite what to do to make my tears disappear.  He left me crying beside the tree . . . I heard a CLATTER and a BANG!  When I looked up, I saw him dragging the mattress, bedding, and pillows down the hallway.  He plopped them on the floor beside our tree. A tradition was born . . . we snuggled down by that “perfect” tree, and I told him my tree story.

 My years of 10-12 were not all that pleasant, and I attempted suicide at 12. (But that is another story) . . . as the air was leaving my body, I heard God’s voice saying, “Don’t let anyone ever make you feel this way again. I love you, I will always love you. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The air was forced back into my lungs and I was given life again . . . I don’t know why?  That Christmas in 1963, I sat on the couch without any lights . . . except for the Christmas tree.  I just sat there thinking that is was the most beautiful sight in the world.  So sparkling, so amazing . . . I was thankful that I was here to enjoy the season and God’s love and mercy.

   Rich understood how much the tree meant to me . . . two years later, another perfect Christmas tree came into my life.  I was teaching second grade in a little town. My students wanted to get a real tree.  They brought in their coins and some dollars.  We walked a few blocks away to the filling station/tree lot.  The trees were pretty expensive, but they let us have a tree for the exact amount that we had with us.  We carried it back to school, lugging the tree and singing Christmas carols.  We were about half way back when it started snowing gigantic snowflakes.  It was a picture made for a Christmas card.  We managed to drag the tree up the stairs of that old three story building.  We finally got it in the stand, and it was surprisingly straight.  We became busy elves stringing popcorn, making chains, and creating ornaments.  We drank hot chocolate and ate some of the popcorn.  That was definitely a special Christmas tree.

  We spent the next thirty three Christmases looking for the perfect tree.  Every year (except for 2) we snuggled by our tree.  As we became older and wiser . . . we realized that the tree only became perfect with our love and our memories.  Remember . . .  if you are trying to find PERFECT anything . . . you will only find it when love is there!

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