Two Days Before Christmas & The Perfect Tree

Stories about Christmas abound. Some of them are filled with the sadness of missing a loved one. Others recall times, when we were far from home or Christmas didn’t play out the way we painted it in our idyllic imaginations. Mostly, however, the stories we share are the happiest ones. This is one of those tales.

In December of 1988, I, a single Mom, was struggling financially—working hard to keep a roof over my girls’ heads but always cognizant of being careful about what I said in front of my seven and eleven-year-old daughters. We had a wonderful life together, and there was enough time for them to grow up and have adult responsibilities. Despite my desire not to give them a reason to worry, I said—unaware that I was in earshot of my Sara—that I had no idea how to swing buying a Christmas tree that year. Of course, when that happened, I didn’t know it. But she, in her wise, eleven-year-old brain, hung on to it.

One winter day, about a week before Christmas, the girls played in the yard where snow blanketed the ground like a Currier & Ives painting. I’d look out the kitchen door to check on them, then go back to doing whatever Moms did thirty years ago. A while later, there was a knock on the front door. On our front porch were two little angels with rosy cheeks and snow on their hats. Standing between them was “The Christmas Tree.” It was about 4′ tall. It was covered with snow and held up by these two beautiful girls with looks of pride, love, accomplishment, and joy on their faces.

As the story goes, they cut down a tree we had planted—a little pine sapling—about five years earlier so we’d have a Christmas tree. What Mom gets to have that moment? What Mom has the gift of a child not saying “I want…” but instead thinking about how she can take the Christmas tree off her Mom’s list? Who wouldn’t take that moment and hold it in her heart forever?

Most of you probably know the story of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, the one he was made fun of for choosing, the same one everyone sang around by the end of the day. Sara and Erin’s little tree wasn’t scraggly like Charlie’s. It was tiny, but it was beautiful.

Our tree said so much in her silence.
She said, “everything is going to be alright.”
She said, “the world can be a good place.”
She said, “you have the most valuable gifts of all—your two beautiful little girls.”
She said, “you are loved.”
She said, “you are incredibly blessed.”
She said, “this is the true meaning of Christmas.”

Amen to that.
Amen to the lessons gentle souls teach us.
Amen to a peace-full home.

With Love,

Please help spread the word of peace full home™.
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