I think Christmas trees are so beautiful. In fact, I think they are so beautiful that I have two full size trees in my home. Excessive? Not for me! I love the differences in my trees but under all the lights, garland, and decorations, they are simply identical trees.
One of my trees is colorful, wrapped in homemade fabric garland, and topped with a sparkling red star. It is stuffed full of unique and tacky ornaments, each one carrying a special memory that spans decades. When we decorate this tree it is a family affair. Each member of the family has their own bag of special ornaments. The kids have homemade ornaments from their early childhood years, ornaments from grandma each year, and a special collection of picture ornaments from my dear friend, Melanie. I have a bag of ornaments from my teaching years that were given to me from special students, ornaments from my childhood including the handmade one from my grandma in 1976. My husband has ornaments that represent his hobbies and many from his Alma Mater, Texas A&M. We have shared bags of ornaments from all of our family travels and our wedding. Anyone looking at our tree might think it looks a little tacky or kitschy because there really isn't a branch on the tree that doesn't have an ornament.
This is my tree that represents family and love and it is perfectly imperfect.
My other tree has a totally different personality. It is regal and refined. It’s silver and ivory trimmings are simple and elegant. There are different size balls and snowflakes carefully placed in a uniform pattern and the garland is arranged in a sophisticated and polished pattern. The tree is topped with a sparkly snowflake surrounded by a fan of glittery floral twists and twigs. The white lights on this tree sparkle and the light bounces off all the glitter and glass ornaments. I am the only person who decorates this tree because I enjoy the crafty element of creating a designer tree.
This is my tree that represents sophistication and the timeless beauty of the holiday.
This holiday season, I have spent many moments sitting in my family room with a warm cup of coffee, watching a Christmas movie, and gazing at my tree. While enjoying my special tree, I think about my mom's cozy little house that has a small thin tree to match the size of her family room. I think about my sister's Christmas tree that is covered top to bottom with silver and blue embellishments represent the mixture of Judaism and Christianity in their home. I think of my besties tree that is large and fluffy and maybe only covered half the amount of lights because of a bunch of her lights decided to remain dark this year.
Each of these trees is unique, special, and equally loved. I appreciate every tree I see.
Below is a video to a sweet holiday song called "My Christmas Tree" and it captures the essence of my special trees.
We can learn a lot from Christmas trees.
They come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. Some trees have loud personalities, some are quiet and subtle, and some are fancy and sophisticated. Some trees branches are hidden under a coat of white flock, while other trees have branches and trunks that are exposed. Some trees may be decorated with symbols that represent a particular religion and other trees may have a full on theme representing something important in the family's life. But even though Christmas trees may look and feel different, at the core they are all simply living and growing trees from the Plantea kingdom and Coniferophyta class.
Every tree is beautiful.
I think about how easy it is to appreciate the uniqueness of family Christmas trees in their shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. Why can't it be that easy with human beings?
I came across this video clip from TV2 on Youtube and shed a few tears when I watched it. As humans, we are naturally drawn to people who are similar to us and possibly even share similar view points. The video perfectly captures how we tend to box ourselves into an identity and when put in a group setting we immediately focus on the differences among us. But the video illustrates that it is okay to recognize those immediate differences, as long as you can think outside the box and focus on our similarities. At the core of it all, we are all human beings and we can learn from one another. Appreciate the similarities and respect the differences.