My son came home from college on Christmas break
And said, “Mom, we must not have a Christmas tree this year.”
Apparently the climate crisis reaches right into our living room
Where “green” doesn’t describe balled-up live trees or cutting them down.
He was determined to hold his ground
As I pouted and grumbled.
No Christmas tree? How can we celebrate the season
Without twinkling lights, treasured ornaments, and pungent fir smell?
It’s true live trees are more likely to die after being indoors
And cut trees perpetuate forest decimation
And plastic trees leave a carbon footprint a mile long
So what, I desperately thought, are we to do in lieu of a tree tradition?
A Christmas Rock
Placed on the bay window seat in the middle of the tree skirt.
A Rock is permanent, not disposable,
It is reusable and recyclable
With no fire risk
Nor spiders crawling from its branches.
It simply is.
And always will be.
Just as Christ Himself
Upon which we stand.
The gifts piled high around the Rock
Above it lights festooned the window frame
Ornaments dangled from the curtains
And scented candles mimicked the piney smell.
We sang carols around the Rock
And drank hot chocolate around the Rock
And prayed around the Rock
And laughed and cried around the Rock.
It was a ready substitute freely given
So that a tree would not die
Nor that we perish
Deep in sin.
And so the Rock remains
In the window seat after Christmas
Quietly reminding us of
The permanence of our salvation.
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