Poor Charlie Brown. His search for the perfect Christmas tree often left a lot to be desired, but his spirit for the season never waivered. When I think about my own childhood, I recall always waiting until the last minute for my dad to bring home the last tree on the lot, because he could get a deal on it. The smell of evergreen didn’t exactly permeate our home and the few remaining branches on that skeleton of its former self resembled Charlie’s tree. It would be up to me and my sister to turn it into something worthwhile to look at.
Dad would sit in his chair, with his watchful eye focused on each ornament we placed. He was extremely critical from his vantage point. “Put more tinsel over there,” he’d shout. “It needs more lights on the top.” It always amazed me that it turned into something beautiful in the end. There’s something magical about Christmas and trimming the tree is one of them.
When our own family was old enough to hike into the woods, we’d bundle everyone up and pile into the car on our quest for the perfect tree. My husband the artist also had a critical eye and wanted only the best for his family. So we searched – and searched – and searched some more. By the time the perfect specimen was located, everyone but our fearless leader had icicles hanging from their noses. I must admit, the tree was always amazing. The scent of those pine branches, brought a little of the outdoors into our living room. The dog even examined it to see if it was a suitable tree, but didn’t seem to mind that there was a tree inside the house.
Eventually the tree cutting became more of a chore than fun. Our annual tradition gave way to an artificial tree. Still the idea of braving the elements didn’t much appeal to any of us, except our own personal Paul Bunyan.
Over the years, we have replaced the artificial tree a few times. We’ve placed the last one outside for our birds to enjoy and now have a little Charlie Brown tree. Traditions change over time, but the true message of the season never does. Jesus was born and laid in a manger, hewn from a tree. He worked as a carpenter alongside His stepdad, creating pieces of furniture out of trees. Eventually, He carried the cross beams of his execution which were made from the wood of a tree.
If we think about it, the whole reason for His coming to earth as true man/true God, was because of a tree.