This weekend I bought a 7 ft Christmas tree.
Our first couple years of marriage when we only had one child, I insisted all we needed was a small 3 ft table top tree. When we had the twins and they were getting close to understanding the joy of Christmas, we bought a 5 ft tree. For the past couple years, the boys have pretty much decorated both trees themselves. The ornaments migrated from being all placed on the bottom third of the tree to covering almost half the tree last year.
This year, as I began to see people decorating early, I started joking with my husband. “Think it’s time for a 7 ft tree?” He shook his head. I wasn’t serious. But then, there I was, standing in Target looking at the empty shelves that once held paper towel rolls (why just paper towels?) and the emptying shelves of Christmas decor…. and I just had to have the tree.
It was an impulse buy (and a relatively cheap one – only $48)… but I felt it’d make me feel a little more equilibrium during what will work out to be a fairly quiet holiday season. It’s funny how a simple object can sometimes help you find your feet again.
Today as I look at the boxed up Christmas tree (and the box of lights and bag of ornaments that, of course, had to come home as well), I’m grateful for the sights and sounds of the holiday season. It’s amazing what even the anticipation of decorations will do to lift a spirit up.
My prayer this morning comes from the words of John O’Donohue. I’ve used them before, but let these words be a reminder of what good can come from taking it slow until you find your feet once again:
“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”