Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: Ever Green
By Judith Gayle Smith
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Not to neglect those somber old worrywarts who angst over possible faulty electrical connections and dry pine needles! Utlity bills. And just who doesn't love the colorfully dancing bubble lights? Watch the kitten bat all the glass ornaments off the tree. Keep the dog away from it. Pretty lights blinking different colors. And some people even use strobe and disco lights to really make it all POP.
Sure glad that no one decorates their tree with real lit candles anymore, though. Had my hair catch on fire once.
Ah - the scent of fresh cut pine fragrancing the entire house. Air fresheners cannot duplicate it. Who doesn't appreciate the real thing? Who isn't disappointed to come home from work and be met with apple pie scented room freshener instead of a real apple pie? We even like the scent of pine in our cars, after all.
The awe and wonderment with which bright eyed eager children turn from their television commercial wish lists to briefly gaze at the breathless exquisiteness of a lavishly decorated spruce/pine/fir climbing to the ceiling - topped with angel/star/whatever. The hours spent making paper and popcorn garlands - even popcorn balls tied with bright red and green ribbons to hang from its heavy-laden branches. Everyone really works hard to decorate. Better yet - nine foot ceilings by staircases to trail the greenery up the railing. Do they still make cardboard Christmas fireplaces, I wonder...
And why not continue the festive finery to festoon all the bedrooms? The dining room needs decorations - perhaps a tree with ornaments all the same color.
Did you remember to buy the Santa toilet seats, Christmas tree mats and Reindeer shower curtains for the bathrooms?
Oops. Forgot. Just might not be that festive this year. Poor economy. Homelessness. Long sad lines at community soup kitchens. Why - the very idea puts such a rotten damper on Christmas. I know - let's donate trees to the homeless. Even decorate them to cheer these poor folk. Don't be surprised if they start bonfires with them to keep warm. Fa la la. Folderol.
Back to good old Jeremiah - the spoil sport. Why, he even makes it sound like idol worship if you have a Christmas tree! The very idea! Some diehard Fundamentalist Christians go so far as to suggest that tree seekers are worshipping in the groves. Bah. Humbug. Spoilers of fun, festoonery, festivity - and frivolity.
What's that? Why puncture the Christmas tree balloon? You say the tree is in celebration of Jesus's birth? I don't remember reading in the Gospel of Luke about one. Was it hiding in a corner of the Inn? Was it flocked, tinseled, garlanded in anticipation of His birth?
I have a most unpopular theory about the Christmas tree - beyond all the dire warnings against pagan worship. The Christmas tree is a shrine for the gifts on the floor.
Now I did it. The last time I said that I was almost tarred and feathered. I wrote a letter to the editor of the little town newspaper I subscribed to - stating exactly that. Someone wrote that it is a good thing, as Mark Twain once wrote - to hang an occasional Preacher.
Don't believe me when I say that it is a shrine? Tell people not to have one this year. Spend all the money and time they would spend purchasing and decorating trees on Bibles and Bible reading.
Wowser. Dull thud. Been there, done that.
Jeremiah 10:1-5 (King James Version):
 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
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