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(“Tis the season to reflect on that memoir-filled time of year- Christmas. Posts that are re-blogs and new memories. For me, it all begins with a tree).

Oh Christmas Tree,

Oh Christmas tree,

How love-eh-ly.

When I was young, my brother and I were allowed to pick a live Christmas tree from the corner lot, all by ourselves. Selection was a painstaking slow process, as the taller and fuller it was, the happier I was. We’d drag it home together on a sled, where it always barely fit into our small apartment. My favourite Christmas pastime was sitting every morning beside my shining lit tree sparkling with tinsel.

A live ‘as big as I can get it’ tree is still the embodiment of Christmas for me. So, four weeks before our first married Christmas together, I asked my husband when we were picking up our live tree.

“Oh, I thought we’d get an artificial one. Yearly fresh trees are kinda expensive.”

Perish that thought!

Throughout years of an active family life with five sons, I treasured my peaceful morning moments with my brightly lit tree.

Until, one year, when my husband decided to pick up a tree early without me.

He called to excitedly tell me he had a surprise. He’d soon be arriving home with my Christmas tree.

I excitedly headed to the front door when I heard them drive up, only to watch with dismay as my ten-year old son carried in my Christmas tree-

With only one hand!

That wee tree required a high stand, where it sat on a table, decorated with a pitiful string of lights that barely lit a darkened room.

There is a accurate logical argument that asks, so what? It’s still a tree.

Which fails to convince me emotionally.

Just like everyone, an emotional connection to things, time and place can never be explained rationally. The tree is Christmas for me. During the Christmas season, it is essential that I experience my early morning stillness, beside a beautifully lit live tree.

Perhaps, it reminds me of my mother’s love, who honoured my attachment to it. Perhaps it was the rare privilege of bringing it home alone.

Or perhaps it is simply that as my brother and I pulled it home on the sled, snow often fell, covering me with its softness, creating a stillness I cherish and recreate each Christmas season in the early morning, beside my tree.

In searching for the gift that will make this Christmas a treasured memory, perhaps it is time to search the corners of your stored memories.

Undoubtedly, the gift that embodies Christmas for you lays there wrapped with people, places and things from your past.

(Fun FB page: I love Christmas)