All Charlie Brown Christmas trees are not alike. There’s copious charm in the original concept – a tiny tree with baby branches, scarcely decorated with budding greenery. The small frame looks cheery despite bald spots and piney peach fuzz. But, the cartoon charm doesn’t always translate to real life.
What happens when the Charlie Brown tree hits puberty? You end up with a tree like ours – a tall tree with skinny frame and gangly limbs. Pine needles are sprouting but in all the wrong places.
A couple more years and our Chuck Brown tree would likely live up to its Noble namesake, but for now, we have a teenager tree making himself at home in our living room.
This is my portion of primitive – Christmas style.
I love picking out a tree, but my normal practices don’t usually involve a four hour tromp through the National Forest with a chainsaw.
Instead of standing up a bunch of trees at the local lot to find the fullest, greenest Fir, Tim and I roamed the woods looking for a tree that had enough branches to hold all our ornaments. Instead of being bound and tied to the car roof, Tim forded a river with the tree hoisted on his shoulder before it was thrown in a trailer. Instead of burying the lights deep in and out of the close packed branches, I struggled to hide plugs in the sparse foliage.
As much as I enjoyed the experience of chopping down our own tree (and only spending $5), I wrestled with the imperfection of it all. Branches drooped under the weight of lights and ornaments. Longer decorations couldn’t hide bare patches. The entire tree leaned to one side.
Then, in the dusk of evening, when those pesky lights were plugged in, I was mesmerized by the beauty of that tannenbaum. Bright bulbs cast a glow overshadowing the imperfections. In fact, the soft glow of the colored lights made those gaps and gangly qualities seem intentionally unique.
I started to see what light can do in the darkness of flaws.
Nature groomed our tree to be a stunning representation of what our lives look like to God. Our Charlie Brown qualities were hand-crafted by Him and look especially lovely in the light of His love.
As if I needed further prompting to embrace joy in my Christmas portion of primitive, our tree toppled head first into the middle of the living room just as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was starting.