Not far from my home is an old farm market. During the spring it is stocked with colorful garden flowers and potted plants, in the summer with fresh and delicious produce and beginning in December with live trees, wreaths and garlands. That’s right! Live Christmas trees in a world full of artificial everything.
This past summer as I was purchasing my favorite vine ripened tomatoes I asked the owner how he decides, so long in advance, how many trees to order for the holidays? With a sheepish grin he explained it was a seat-of- the-pants thing he has been doing for years as did his father before him.
It is now two days before Christmas and as I drove past the now closed and deserted lot I noticed one tree, with crooked branches and sparse needles, standing forlorn and alone. It was about the only one left on this bitterly cold and blustery afternoon. It just didn’t seem fair. By this time all its friends were snuggly and warm inside cozy homes and were dressed with colorful ornaments and laden with sparkling lights. They were even given food and water to keep them healthy and green. And on Christmas morning they would stand tall and majestic as their pictures were taken with their adoptive families.
It reminded me of these verses written in the Book of Matthew,
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me.
I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
I guess if it works for man why not a tree.
As I write these words I glance across the room and there standing proudly in the corner is my now cherished, beautiful and adopted “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charles M. Schulz (1965)