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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: QUEST FOR THE PERFECT TREE
By Linda Payne
10/12/08


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For almost 25 years, my husband has been on a quest for the perfect Christmas tree. A week or so before Christmas, he takes our sons (now 17 & 21) to a local tree farm. I don’t accompany them on these excursions, allowing them their male bonding time. They spend several hours trying to find the perfect tree. Then, full of hot chocolate and camaraderie, they arrive home like proud hunters bringing in their kill.

Very seldom has a tree met my husband’s standard for perfect “tree-dom”. Yet, regardless of how crooked or lopsided it might be, each tree has been beautiful to me. Like unwrapping a present, the ropes are cut and the branches unfurl to release their woodsy, pine-laden scent throughout the house. Perhaps it is the promise I see of what the tree will soon look like. Perhaps it is the joy on the faces of my men as they proudly present the tree to me. Maybe it is a combination of both, but each year’s tree is the loveliest to me.

With the mellow sounds of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” CD playing in the background, a family favorite, and a plate full of homemade Christmas cookies to nourish and fortify, the business of decorating begins. First, with the hands of an artist creating a masterpiece, my husband carefully twines lights in and out of the branches, usually after some discussion as to all colored lights (the boys and I) or all white lights (my husband). Then we fill the branches with memories—ornaments proudly made by small hands, gifts and mementoes from friends and family. The once plain, slightly lopsided tree is like Cinderella transformed for the ball, sparkling, shining, standing proudly erect.

I think of myself, indeed of all of us imperfect humans. On our own, we are plain, lopsided, crooked, bravely hoping someone will look beyond our flaws and see the possibility of beauty. That Someone is Jesus, who brightens our darkness with his light, adorns our plainness with his joy and beauty, who delights in us and sings over us. (see Zephaniah 3:17).

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
your boughs can teach a lesson
that though imperfect you may be,
His eyes of love your beauty sees.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
your boughs can teach a lesson.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer 10/16/08
I like how you describe why each tree is the most wonderful tree. I like how you tied in the scripture as well.
Marlene Austin10/19/08
A wonderful devotional and excellent comparison. Good job. :)
Dee Yoder 10/21/08
You captured the beauty of the Christmas tree and the traditions for the family that surrounds it. Lovely.