By Mike Barnett
The scent of the fresh cut tree filled the room, the floor radiator pushing the smell of Christmas throughout the small, two bedroom house.
Dad, my brother and I had walked grandma’s farm that cold, blustery afternoon over a half century ago, searching out the perfect cedar, the center of a celebration soon to come. There wasn’t a lot to choose from.
The job of decorating the four foot scraggle fell to my mom and sisters. Garland rings were made with brightly colored construction paper. Painted popsicle sticks, glue and tons of glitter were the ingredients for handmade ornaments to adorn the limbs.
Later, mom and dad, grandma, Carolyn, Jim, Linda and I gathered around the tree and each of us opened our present. Yes, present, and listened as dad cracked hard ribbon candy with his teeth and told the tale of the Merry Christmas Orange.
That was the prettiest tree I’ve ever seen—despite its shortcomings—and one of the best Christmases ever.
I thought back on that simpler time this week as I scrambled to get ready for this holiday season.
Every year since I’ve been an adult has been a choreographed Christmas production. The tree is huge, expensive ornaments, lights everywhere, shopping, shopping, shopping, wrapping a ton of presents that circle three feet from the tree. And yes, it’s beautiful. But is it prettier than the Charlie Brown tree we had a half century ago? And does everyone need five presents?
Remember what this season is all about. Christmas isn’t making sure your kid or grandkid has the latest Xbox or newest edition of Call of Duty or the newest iPhone or even a Kindle Fire, although giving is a big part of the season.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a very special child, and the promise of hope and peace He brings us all.
Make sure your kids and grandkids know that.
Merry Christmas to you all.