November 28, 2011

The Christmas Tree


I have a Christmas tree this year. I didn't think I would have one.

The last few years, we haven't been able to afford a real Christmas tree and didn't already have an artificial one stuffed in an attic somewhere. And as the holidays began to creep closer, I was trying to resign myself to not having one again this year, all the while realizing that it was first on my wish list. Sky and I would roam the aisles of them at Target, pat each other around the waist, and say "Next year. Next year."

Meg's sister in Peoria gave me the Christmas tree. Here's the thing: I don't actually know Meg or her sister or Peoria.

Meg works for the newspaper in town, the one I dreamed of writing for one day. When I read her blog post for the paper that called for pumpkin recipes, I sent in one for my mom's pumpkin bread. We followed each other on Twitter, as fellow Chambana girls, and recently became Facebook friends. And when I called on my Facebook friends to help me think of a place to get an inexpensive Christmas tree, Meg commented and asked if I would like one her sister wasn't keeping. I said I would.

So on Thanksgiving night, while most families sat in front of their TVs too stuffed to move, I made a homemade pizza and waited for my Christmas tree to arrive. She stopped in and officially met me, complemented Millie on her walking skills, and was out the door as quick as Santa Claus. And the day after Thanksgiving, as is tradition since I was little, I put up the Christmas tree- the one I thought I wouldn't have.

Christmas is supposed to be about many things that always seem to be forgotten, but one of the biggest is giving. Not getting, not making lists of all the things you want or think you can't live without, but Salvation Army bell ringer type of giving. The selfless kind. The kind that won't get rewarded, or is done unseen, or seems small to most people. The kind that might even be anonymous. The kind that sacrifices. The kind that expects nothing. And in all the Black Friday, buy-kids-$500-gifts, materialistic craziness in this world, I had all but given up hope that giving, true giving, exists.

But, as I snuggle under fleece blankets and feel the glow from the tiny, white lights of the tree, I am reminded that it does exist.

It's alive and well...at least here in Chambana.

20 kind comments from you:

Beckie said...

Ok you just made me cry.

That's really really awesome ^_^. I'm so glad you have a tree. I can totally relate to the "Next year" thing. We also say "When you/I get a job..." Times are tough but generous, loving, giving, awesome people make them so much easier. I'm glad your Christmas will be extra magical :).

Nikki said...

That is wonderful! so glad you have a tree :) Thank God for special people like that!

Ashley said...

What a wonderful gift and story! So happy for you and especially Millie that you have a tree this year! :)

Kaylee said...

Love that you got your tree! So sweet of her, and yes, what a beautiful reminder that Christmas is more than just expensive gifts and "getting".

annoyed army wife said...

Very heartwarming story; thank you for sharing it. :)

Thisisme. said...

What a wonderful post my friend. You are so right, this season should be about giving. I am so pleased that you have your lovely Christmas tree, and I know that little Millie will enjoy the pretty lights.

Mommy McD said...

I am SO happy for you. This year we sewed a Christmas tree. (Sounds weird, right?) I can't stomach the prices of real trees around this area, nor do I want to drop money on another fake tree that's just going to putz out in a few years. So, I waited in an extraordinarily long line at Joann's and bought tie-dye green fleece, to make a reuseable Christmas tree. It's a little weird and definitely different - but it's a great place to hang our ornaments, none the less.

My Traveling Troop said...

I'm so happy to hear you were able to get a Christmas tree this year! What a beautiful gift! Enjoy the twinkling lights and magic the tree and season brings!

Cheers,
Kristina

Bonnie said...

<3

Mrs.B said...

What an awesome story!

Brianna said...

It is a wonderful thing, knowing humanity isn't totally lost and consumed entirely by greed. What a wonderful story. One step closer to having a Christmas you and Millie deserve.

Jessica @ {Mis}Adventures of a Lifetime said...

I'm so happy you guys have a tree this year! How wonderful to know that awesome, generous people still exist!

Chantal said...

Christmas is about giving!! My favorite part is buying people gifts and seeing their eyes light up when they open them.

Skinnie Piggie said...

Everyone deserves a tree! I'm so glad someone gifted you one. My favorite part about Christmas is giving. We recently watched a movie called "Christmas with a Capital C" I highly recommend it to everyone.

JennyTheBeatBoxer said...

I love people! And Peoria! :) This is so touching. I'm so glad amazing people still exist.

beka said...

ohmyword, that's so cool!
it's awesome that it IS still alive; that blessed kind of giving. . . . sweet :)

Melissa Jaine said...

What a beautiful story.
I haven't had a tree in years, but saw k-mart has them and decorations at very low prices, so you've inspired me. :)
mj.x

The New "Normal" said...

How wonderful and kind! I'm so happy that you have a tree! :) I believe in the same Christmas that you do, giving to others without any expectation of something in return. I always wish I could take lots of names off of the giving trees at the mall and fill everyone of the wishes, but that's not possible. We try to pick one for each of my kids to be "Santa" for, as well as going through our old clothes and toys to donate. It's not much, but I try to do something so that the kids will understand that it's better to give than receive. So hard these days...
I love hearing stories like this, proving that kindness and generosity still exist! Thanks for sharing! :)

Our Little Fam said...

Great post! I am so glad that they offered the tree to you, so kind and I am glad that you have one this year!

charla beth said...

what a gorgeous post.

i feel like i give up on people way too easily sometimes. but this--this is extraordinary and not because it is extravagant, but because of it's simplicity.

and i'm SO happy that you and sky and millie get to enjoy that little extra piece of magic that makes this season so special. :)

p.s. i thin i've said this before, but your writing is really, really beautiful. you always touch my heart.

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