Showing posts with label Christmas tree. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas tree. Show all posts

Saturday, December 16, 2023

The Christmas Tree

I discovered this little book many years ago 
and recently found it again.
The delightful and charming story 
fills my heart with joy every time I read it. 

"The Christmas Tree is the tale of a little girl named Anna, who is orphaned and sent to live in a convent. The lonely girl befriends, as only a child can, a tiny fir tree. Anna and Tree, as she calls him, grow up together, unlocking the secrets of friendship and sharing the wonders of nature. It is this same profound appreciation and love of nature that the grown-up Anna, now Sister Anthony, passes on to her students.

When Tree is threatened by a winter storm, Sister Anthony, by now an old woman, decides to give up her dearest friend, allowing him to become the most enjoyed and famous tree of all: the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

A perennial holiday favorite, 
The Christmas Tree is about learning to love and, ultimately, being able to share that love with others."


 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Tuck Hope in Your Heart

 Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

So many memories flood my heart at Christmas.

I confess. I put my Christmas tree up the day before Thanksgiving, this year. We were going to my sister’s house for the holiday, so no one would be visiting us. After I had prepared the food I was taking, I had time to set up the tree. As I fluffed the silver branches, I remembered when Tim brought home this beauty. He knew I wanted a silver one and went on the hunt for it.  The tree has been with us for ten-plus years.

Each year as I adorn it with ornaments, the memories I’ve stored in my heart come to life. As the wrapping comes off of each bauble, I remember the person or occasion associated with the decoration. The first felt ornament I made, in sixth grade art class, still hangs on my tree. Along with our Christmas tree, decorations from my childhood adorn our home. With each one the thought of Christmases past tugs at my heart.

Imagine a young woman who an angel declared pregnant by God, traveling to another town at nine months pregnant, and giving birth to the King of Kings in a stable. Instead of being terrified or embarrassed, she treasured and embraced her experience. As a mom and a person who cherishes sweet memories, I love reading that Mary treasured and pondered what happened in her heart.

I’m sure those memories helped carry her through the death and resurrection of her Son.

Even as I contemplate the memories attached to my tree, I cherish the nativity ornaments that tell the story of the Savior come to earth as a babe.

Jesus brought hope to a dark world. Even as we navigate the chaos, hold on to the hope and tuck it into your heart.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Look to Jesus

Proverbs 15:30
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

I tucked Christmas away.

Every year, our home is donned with Christmas displays, trees, and memories. I usually pull out all the treasured ornaments and d├ęcor around Thanksgiving. By early January, I'm ready to take down the beauty of the season and store it away for another year. Wednesday morning, the 4th day of January, I unhooked the ornaments from the tree, wrapped them, and placed them in the Christmas tote. Once the baubles were packed away, I unwound the purple beaded garland, then pulled the plug on the lights, the last remnant of the holiday. When the colorful bulbs turned off, I felt a little tug of sadness. Those little twinklers brought me joy.

When they glowed in various colors, they reminded me of why I celebrate His birth
Shades of pinkHe came as a sweet babe
GreenHe's everlasting
YellowHe's the light of the world
RedHis blood shed on the cross
Blue—everlasting life in heaven

Proverbs 15:30 reminds me to put my sadness away and remember the true light. Jesus came to earth to bring hope. His good news offers peace. When my heart is at peace, the rest of my body feels better.

As Christmas is put away and the new year begins, I choose to look to Jesus as the source of my joy and peace. He loves me more than I understand. I'm a broken human being filled with hope because the King of Kings who came as the only perfect person, loved me enough to die a harsh death on the cross, then gloriously rise to life.

Jesus is grace. He forgives and loves like no other.

Begin this new year looking to Jesus.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Book Tree Tradition

As a lover of books, I cringe when one is damaged or worse yet, destroyed. Yet, part of my job is withdrawing books and sending them either on to a new home or to the recycle bin. But one December brought new hope for old books and created a wonderful holiday tradition.

The former director of the library where I work set the tradition into motion. She'd gathered a cart full of books that would be discarded for various reasons. With some ingenuity and a photo, one of the student assistants took the books and built a Christmas tree. The job is harder than it seems, and usually requires someone who thinks like a mathematician. Which leaves me out. 

Every year since, I've admired and appreciated the calculations and work that goes into bringing the adornment to life. This year though, I did get to decorate the tree. From one of the worn and torn dismantled literature books came some delicate, thin pages. I used skills I learned in grade school art class to fold and snip snowflakes. Now we have a recycled tree from top to bottom. My co-workers and I look forward to the tradition of the book tree and plan to continue it for years to come.