Dave went out yesterday to the Christmas tree sale that our parish holds annually. We have always found really nice trees there and it has the benefit of profiting the local Catholic school. A win-win situation.
This year the trees were skimpy and scraggly and my dear husband felt bad that no one was buying them so he bought one. For us. For our tree.
It is the most Charlie Brown of Christmas trees with long scraggy branches that droop under the weight of even the lightest of ornaments. He offered to go buy another tree from another tree place and we could use this as our school room tree but I said no. The children didn’t notice the difference, they were just thrilled to have a tree and danced around like happy little elves hanging ornaments and exclaiming over the memories they trigger.
I have always loved Christmas and I love having a pretty tree but a perfect Christmas does not require a Norman Rockwell tree or even any tree. It requires joy about the coming of Our Saviour, it requires love and then more love. It requires family and church and goodness and peace.
So this year the tree is less than perfect. What is perfect is a husband who cares enough about his community to buy an ugly tree, children who are so enchanted by the magic of the season that they don’t see an ugly tree and a wonderful and giving Heavenly Father who has provided for us so well and with so much more than we deserve.