Like the rest of those folks raring to get into the Christmas spirit, we decked our halls for Christmas this past weekend. Alan, bless his heart, pulled out the seven 20-gallon Rubbermaid totes and various and sundry bags and boxes from the little storage doors off of our bedroom. Colin helped carry the totes downstairs, and the decorating commenced. Alan put our tree together and fluffed, while I cleaned and dusted.
The Beautiful Tree or How I Couldn’t Do Christmas Without HimNov 28
The kids were busting at the seams to get ornaments on the tree. Since, we had just helped my mom, whom we affectionately refer to as Sue Sue, put her tree up the kids were pros by now. I whipped up some Scotch Bars. As they turned from gloppy goo to caramel colored goodness in the magic of the oven, their smell permeated the air. The delicious aroma intermingled with the sound of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, as we listened to the all Christmas music channel on TV.
It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas to quote a popular song. Colin and Faith ran from the ornament box to the tree and back again, only stopping to say, “Did I make this?” or “Hey, it’s a John Deere tractor.” After getting us going, Alan said he was going in the garage to finish up a project.
“Sure, no problem.”
The kids and I continued to lavish the tree with ornaments – shiny balls, the kids’ special hand made ones, Hallmark cuties, and ones from mine and Alan’s childhood. Usually, as we place them on, I stand back and admire the beauty but not today. The more ornaments we hung, the more help the tree needed. What was happening?
Alan had taught me to hang the smaller ornaments near the top and the larger ones at the bottom. Growing up, we hung them anywhere. But when I married a graphic designer, I soon learned that the Christmas tree was a piece of art and was to be decorated as such. I thought I was following Alan’s Golden Rules of Decorating, but something had gone awry.
It took me a few minutes to swallow my pride enough to call for help. You see, friends, I am a control freak, and I’m detail oriented. Surely I could make the tree look as beautiful as Alan. I just can’t reach the top very well, I told myself. More minutes passed, the tree was going downhill fast.
I stuck my head in the garage.
“Um, Alan, are you going to be through anytime soon? We could use a little help.”
“What is the problem?”
“We don’t have you.”
Alan chuckled a little and assured me he’d be right in. Before we knew it, the tall, gorgeous man – God’s gift to Christmas trees – known as my husband came in and with a discerning hand moved ornaments here and there. When he finally stepped back, angels were tooting trumpets somewhere. It was beautiful. I had to admit that without him I just couldn’t do it.
The next couple of days that same train of thought was with me every time I glanced at the tree. And then one day during my time alone with God, He spoke to my heart.
You remember decorating the tree, Carol? You are just like that with your life. You think you can do it without me sometimes. You become sure of yourself and send me off to the garage. “I can make it look just as beautiful,” you say. But you can’t, and you don’t. You mess up and end up calling for help. The times you let me control and decide the placement of all things – I make you beautiful. When people compliment you or your life, they are really complimenting me. You couldn’t do it without me. Please, remember that whenever you see a beautiful tree. It’s not the tree or the ornaments that make it so beautiful, it is the skilled hand of the decorator.
I thought about that for a few minutes and then asked “God could you give me some blinking lights that twinkle? You know how I love to sparkle.” And then I thanked God for Alan – I couldn’t do Christmas without him!