Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Ghost of Christmas Trees Past, Part 1

My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th Christmas together this year, which is a little hard to believe. Almost every one of those Christmases together, for some reason or another, we have had a different Christmas tree. Some years we had real trees; some years we had artificial trees. Every Christmas, though, God has provided. This year, since we are once again securing a new tree, I thought it would be fun to share with you the stories of our different holiday saplings.

Christmas #1

When we were first married, two days before Christmas no less, we were not exactly rolling in cash. Not that we are rolling now, but we had, like most newlywed couples, many extra “set-up” costs that we currently do not have. To be honest, I did not think we were going to have a tree at all because finances were so tight. We could not afford a fancy wedding or a honeymoon, and our weekly grocery bill was somewhere between $15-$20, as I recall.

The tree from the top of our wedding cake
that my older brother brought to town
on Dec. 26th that year.
That year, though, a giant snowstorm hit our area a few days before Christmas. There was a youth group somewhere in town selling Christmas trees as a fundraiser. Rather than stand around in the unforeseen blizzard, they decided to leave the trees at their church for people to take for free. Somehow, my mom caught wind of the situation and sent my dad to their church to pick out a tree for us.

I was overjoyed! My dad, my younger brother, and I went to my future apartment to set up the tree in the living room while my husband (then fiancĂ©) was working. I kept it a secret until he journeyed home that night. (I mean, who wouldn’t want to be surprised with a Christmas tree after work?) He was, of course, pleased when he saw it—as a bachelor, I don’t think he had ever bothered to put up his own tree at Christmastime.

Our free tree was one of the only Christmas decorations we had that year (the other decorations being homemade computer paper snowflake cutouts). We had about 5 ornaments on it altogether; my parents also gave us a string of colored lights. It was not a particularly tall tree or a “designer” tree, but we loved it anyway. We loved it for both the wonderful evergreen aroma and the jolly Christmas cheer it brought into our home. It was so enjoyable to sit next to our tree on that first Christmas morning together, talking to one another and sharing our lives. What a wonderful moment in time.