It has been my job to buy a Christmas tree for the family every year. It's a chore I am happy to do. Christmas with all the trimmings is a joyous festival to me.
When we lived in Okinawa, Japan, I would stand in line with little Tiffany for three hours, waiting for my turn to buy a pine tree imported to the island for the military personell. It was worth it. Christmas would have come with or without that tree, but it sure made a decorative living room to have one.
After that I have bought Christmas trees for our family's celebration in several different countries. Sean and Linnea soon became my co-partners in seeking out a tree, even though they had a hard time agreeeing which one to choose.
I believe my favorite story is from Norway. I decided a few years ago to travel way out into the countryside, into a wooded area, where someone sold freshly cut trees. I looked around at the various trees he had for sale, short and tall, skinny and fat....and which one did I choose? The ugliest one he had! It had no top, it had been chopped off. It was thin on one side, kind of misplacement of branches, one could say. It was not a picture perfect tree by any means. Why did I buy that one? For some strange reason, I looked at it, and felt sorry for it. "No one will ever buy that tree," I thought. "I have to bring it home and give it a good Christmas."
I bought it - and I paid a good price for it - brought it home, and did extensive trimming and fixing of the branches to make a cone shaped tree with a top. It was so lop-sided, I had to tie it to the stairwell, so that it wouldn't topple over.
So, it wasn't the perfect tree. Who cares? It was my tree, I chose it. It has made a fun story for my husband to tell friends over and over again.
Christmas is about feelings, isn't it? Feelings about tradition, creating joy, love, peace, and harmony in our homes. And hopefully these feelings will spread from our homes, and out the front door and into the neighborhood and eventually into the world.