A Cedar Christmas

Something different puts me in the Christmas Spirit each year.  Sometimes it’s an old movie, sometimes a new book. Other times the flavors of food not eaten for a whole year will do it.

This year it was a television commercial about Christmas trees.  Not only did they have short needle pines, but cedars as well.  I’m going to have a cedar tree this year.

When I was growing up, we went into the woods and poached a tree.  We didn’t know the land owners and they didn’t know us, but they were aware that people came in to clean up some of the undergrowth. Everyone was happy.

Landowners aren’t as magnanimous these days. Trespassers aren’t welcome. An era has passed away. We started going to Christmas tree farms even before I reached my teens, not because of trespassing laws, but because better trees could be found at the farms…most of them cedar.

My brother and his wife joined my mother and me on those hunts at the farm. The honor of picking out the trees fell to my sister-in-law and me. She’d reached adulthood and had lost the imagination of childhood, so she selected the first tree that fit their house. On the other hand, I cared nothing for size unless it was big and perfect. Naturally I had to inspect every tree on every lot in every field. The adults tramped behind without complaint for hours. I think they understood that I was the last child in the family, and that day was mine. Because I was a child, I didn’t realize what a special gift they were giving me.

As God‘s children we don’t notice the many gifts He sends our way, not just at Christmas, but all year long. Of course Jesus is the most important gift of all time, but there are others freely and patiently given in love.

The aroma of the cedar is one such gift, and I’m going to savor it this Christmas, remembering the dear ones who gave their time and love to make a child happy, and the Savior Who makes all love possible.

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