O Christmas Tree


It's never too late to feel the spirit of Christmas. Joy to the world, indeed!

I’m singing my heart out to God —what a victory! . . . —Exodus 15:1 (msg)

I made a sensible decision as Christmas approached. Because of my lack of energy and enthusiasm (related to three autoimmune diseases), I wouldn’t let my son Jeremy erect the tree. Just thinking about decorating it made me tired.

As I enjoyed a manicure with Sandy, who’s done my nails for years, I asked for Big Apple Red.

Sandy looked stunned. Red’s not my color. “It’s for Christmas.” I smiled into her eyes. “I’m not going to have a tree.” She filed my nails quietly, not looking at me. “Nope. No tree this year,” I added for emphasis.

Finally, she met my eyes and said solemnly, “If you don’t put up a tree this year, you never will again.” I didn’t respond. When I left, she called out, “Merry Christmas, Marion!” I responded in kind, but felt—well, forlorn. Never have a tree again? I saw my neighbors’ trees shining brightly, and they tugged at my heart.

When my son Jeremy came to eat supper with us the next night, I asked him to put up the tree. Go slowly, Marion. No rush. I hung the bright items at a snail’s pace, even took breaks. I finished trimming the tree without aches, pains, or weariness.

When my husband Gene plugged in the white lights, my heart sang and rejoiced as Christmas carols played in the background and the spirit of Christmas once again filled our living room. Joy to the world, indeed!

Thank You for volunteering to come to us, Lord Jesus. —Marion Bond West
Digging Deeper: Is 9:6–7; Lk 1:31

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