Sunday, December 2, 2012
25 Days of "What Christmas means to Me".
Day 2 of 25 Days of "What Christmas means to Me" brings me to Christmas trees.
That symbol that has it's origins in ancient pagan cultures. Ancient Egyptians, Druids, Romans, Greeks all had times or ceremonies where the evergreen played a pivotal role.
"Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth. " According to www.christmas-tree.com at the Christmas Tree Farm Network.
For me the Christmas tree is about bringing the dusty boxes out of the attic. There is some grunting and mumbling and possibly even an occasional "colorful word". It's about detangling the lights, and my favorite garland made of small wooden balls that look like cranberrys. It's about always having that one lightbulb that goes out and the tree goes dark. The ornaments, that are somehow mysteriously missing hangers, since last year and never having spares, so we raid the office supplies and bring out the paper clips.
We fuss over who is putting the ornaments too close together, and who is putting them too far apart. The tabletop angel that someone always tries to top the tree with, and she just won't fit. Who's going to put the star on top, and which Christmas movie are we going to watch while we decorate. The dogs want to investigate, and we keep having to shoo them away.
It's about unwrapping each ornament. We don't have alot, but each one has a story. Some were given to us at work, or church. Many were home made. And still more were chosen during the lean years, from the local craft store where we could only afford a few. I love my homespun tree. With is memories of all the friends and family who inadvertantly furnished the sparkle or shine. How some ornaments were handed down from Grandma's and even though some ornaments might be ugly, they were given with love and that makes them special.
Even more so, it's the tradition of trimming the tree. Of the laughter, and maybe even the tears. The tradition and the awe when it's done and you turn the christmas lights on, then the house lights down. Maybe there is a fire in the fireplace, but probably not, because it's pretty warm here. So you might have hot cocoa, but we'll have iced tea. We'll eat some popcorn, and hang the stockings and even the oldest of us, will have that moment of awe and glee. That moment of wonder never gets old. So enjoy your tree and your traditions and Merry Christmas!