Christmas was always a big deal growing up in my family.
I love Christmas trees. For my dad, “The Tree Man,” (his business name), it was unthinkable to either buy a tree or use an artificial one. He went out in the woods and cut one down himself every year. Although we never posed in front of the tree, we always had photos with our real Christmas pine in the background.
Many years later, my father started making unusual choices with the trees he cut down for Christmas. Toward the end of his life, he even used arborvitae trees.
I fondly remember them as his “designer” tree era.
Celebrating Christmas is a way of both remembering and honoring my dad.
Now that he’s not with us, we do have an artificial tree. It’s white, of all colors! I think of those other Christmas trees with nostalgia. But one thing none of us miss is cleaning up the sharp pine needles that have fallen onto the floor!
I read this post on Facebook about Christmas trees and it spoke to me. So I wanted to share it with you.
1. Be a light in the darkness.
Well, I need LIGHTS period since I’m losing my vision. So I certainly look around for them! My sister is probably the best example of “spiritual” light I know. The Bible instructs us to shine our lights in the darkness and not to hide them. So this first lesson reminds me to be grateful, positive and gracious no matter what I’m going through.
2. We all fall over sometimes.
That’s true. We worry especially about my mother falling. At 85 and with osteoporosis, that would be a disaster. The last two falls have brought hand and wrist breaks. Her doctor even cancelled her quarterly check-ups until summer so she’d avoid the snow and ice. But then there’s me…with poor vision, I seem to fall over so many things! At my age, I get mostly knobby bumps and bruising. I have to remember to slow down! (I do feel like the ball in a pinball machine bouncing off all sorts of objects as I make my path through the house. I do a lot of dinging!).
3. You can never wear too much glitter.
Ha ha! That reminds me of a recent photoshoot for the cover of my book. The photographer asked me if I wanted it re-touched or not. My response was, “You bet!” I then added, “Oh and put glitter on it if you can!” I needed help. That day I was rushed and had no time to put on any make-up. Turns out it didn’t matter as my cane and mobility were the focus of the photos. My fingers were crossed that at least one of the photos in that shoot would grace the cover of what I hoped would be my brand new bestselling memoir.
Well, lucky me, I had the boots … I think style always acts as fashion glitter, don’t you?
Now I’m just waiting for the bestselling part to happen!
4. Bring joy to others.
This is an easy one for me. The truth is I do look for opportunities to make people happy. I have lots of positive examples to follow–members of my family, my friends at home and afar (too many to name), and all the many people who help me. I remember from a young age taking a cake over to welcome new neighbors. I like to see others smile; people and animals are like “gold” to me. I wish I could do more. I try not to let my limited vision hold me back and I pray for God to open my eyes (and ears!) to those with needs around me.
5. Sparkle and twinkle as often as possible.
A few weeks ago, a lady told me I sparkled! (I think she was being nice because when I looked in the mirror, I only saw disheveled!). Seriously, I remember how my dad’s eyes twinkled when he told his stories and joked. He was a genuinely happy person. I think especially when you find the joy of the Lord, it makes sparkling and twinkling easier. It helps to have good health. But I’m struck that even those who don’t have that still somehow sparkle when they focus on their blessings or people they love.
6. It’s okay to be a little tilted.
Aren’t we all at some point or another? It’s that “titling” that makes us unique beings! None of us are perfectly balanced. We all tilt to one side or the other (or wobble between the two!). As long as we care for and respect our fellow human beings, animals and the environment, tilt away! I’m fortunate to have encountered so many passionate, offbeat people through my jobs, travels and right here at home. Plus, I see life through my own tilted, fractured vision. (I’m usually upside down, or see only a part of what I should be seeing … so tell me, how can I avoid being tilted?!) I’m certainly glad it’s okay!
Great lessons from a seasonal tree! We don’t need to wait until Christmas to put them into action, though. They’re good all year around. Just like I know some friends keep their trees up all year ’round and simply change ornaments for each subsequent holiday of the year. Is that like changing clothes for us?!
Have a merry CHriStmAs, friends, and even if it takes a little punch, try to get that sparkle back in your eyes. Those around are counting on your light. I, for one, don’t want to trip in the darkness! So, puh-leez, think of me and shine brightly!