POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©
In the Garden of Eden You planted two trees, with fruit so divine and sweet.
One was given for eating, the other not so, but temptation the soul did defeat.
Man had fallen from grandeur to deepest despair, He needed redemption within.
So you gave him the purest – the sinless – the pure – to take on the burden of sin.
When we travel to heaven, we’ll see that sweet fruit, that grows on the Tree of Life.
It will heal and restore us and give us new life – from troubles and pain and strife.
He will take us and lead us to pastures of green and still waters will He provide.
We’ll at last be united and joined with Him there – as His perfectly treasured bride.
As with most traditions, we have to go back several centuries to discover the origin. In ancient cultures, the Romans, Egyptians and Druids celebrated the winter solstice by decorating trees. Many of their gods were representative of agriculture.
Because this was deemed a pagan practice, St. Boniface is said to have cut down an oak tree which was being worshiped and replaced it with a pine tree. He demonstrated the constancy and faithfulness of God through Chrthat ever growing tree.
Later, Martin Luther is said to have brought a fir tree into his home and trimmed it with candles. He’d been witness to the brilliance of the stars shining through the trees and thought it so beautiful, he added the lights to his tree.
The idea caught on and soon folks were decorating their freshly cut fir trees with cookies, candles and hand made ornaments. When Germans immigrated to America, they brought the tradition with them, but it wasn’t well received by the general populace of Puritans at the time.
It wasn’t until Prince Albert married Queen Victoria that the Christmas tree gained popularity. Albert was of German descent and brought this tradition with him when he became an English monarch.
In 1824 Ernst Anschutz penned the lyrics to “O, Tannenbaum.” It has been a favorite Christmas carol ever since, with many translations sung the world over.
When I decorate the Christmas tree each year, it stirs all kinds of memories. The hand made ornaments made by our children when they were in school, the broken and eyeless Santa’s; the brand spanking new ones that add shimmer and shine – all filling the tree with new thoughts of Christmas past, present and future. The festive colors brighten a corner of the house and brings a feeling of celebration.
What a great celebration it is. We reap the benefits of a little child who was born to pay the ransom for our sins. It is not the tree we are celebrating, but symbolism it represents. Because of that baby, we can celebrate eternal life with Him.