Oh! Christmas Tree…

You wouldn’t believe our Christmas trees growing up. Seriously. Do you want to go there? Really? You may need to sit down.

Cedar. You know those bushy evergreens that you see growing along the landscape down south that people line their closets with. Usually we would cut down a cedar tree from my grandparents land in McComb, MS and take it back to Brandon (a small town outside of Jackson). I DO remember one year my dad going deep into the woods where we used to foxhunt on private land and cutting one. I have a vague recollection of doing something against the law to get our lovely tree. It was scandalous. Maybe that’s why I remember it. See, I told you. Scandal.

I vividly recall my friends teasing me over the “outdoor” lights on our “indoor” tree. You know the big fat mulit-colored lights. I thought that’s what everyone used, didn’t you?

One day I will write about my father. He was quiet a character. His temper flared when it was time to get that tree in a tree stand. Perhaps it was his ice-blue eyes that made his face seem that much more crimson. My sisters and I stayed out of the way and let the TWF (Tree Wrestling Frustration) begin.

But one year… there appeared a crooked nail in the ceiling- right above where the tree stood. That stubborn, leaning, gigantic-lighted Christmas tree became tethered to a stud in the ceiling. The next year was the year that if you gently pushed the tree it would swing from the nail. Somehow my father managed to liberate that tree from that cumbersome, hell-provoking tree stand. It was free to swing in the wind from that bent nail. I took some ribbing from my friends about that one.

Our lights never got smaller. The nail never went away. It wasn’t until I moved away that I saw people used little blinky lights on their indoor trees and big, fat ones outside. “You mean you PAY for a Christmas tree??? Wow. You have one of those fancy Spruce ones? Impressive. ”

I used to lay in our living room and stare open-eyed at our beautiful tree until I fell asleep. The world was so big and so far away yet all I wanted was enclosed in that house.

When your kids want to stay up late and stare at the Christmas tree let them bask in the magical qualities and reflection that it brings. They will rest in their memories and their hopes of what they don’t even know is to come. Sometimes we all need a chance to just BE in a blessed twinkling light with our imaginations open and our hearts free from the stand on this earth that entangles and frustrates us.

So, think about it… this year are you a tree planted firmly in a stand? Are you alittle crooked and precariously perched? Maybe a little help from above isn’t so bad. Alittle freedom from a visible nail…


Hi, I’m Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed art for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, two children and a small petting zoo of other family members. #shapeyoursweetestlife



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