I love the smell of fresh pine, so it’s a natural fit when the Holiday season comes around especially since I can purchase that delicious artificial pine smell to plug into my home creating a false atmosphere of Christmas. By tricking my senses a bit, I am drawn back into the timeline of my childhood. A long-standing tradition in my family was to go out every year and cut down a nice pine to claim as our own Christmas tree.
Each venture brought out the competitive nature in my siblings and myself; who could find the biggest and tallest tree that didn’t look all loopy or lopsided or was host to a resident squirrel or bird. After jubilant chatter, warm cocoa, a few candy canes, and a fast shake of the needles, we would rendezvous home to begin the decking out of the tree which involved a Christmas record or tape blaring in the background as we meandered about the tree finding the perfect location to place our ornament, most of which were homemade. Once the tree was finished, we would add some tinsel and an angel to top it off.
As much as I loved the routine, my favorite part came in the still of the night when everyone was asleep, and I would turn off all of the lights except the Christmas tree’s. Then, I would lay with my head under the tree at first glancing up from the bottom at its beauty taking in a new perspective. After a while, my view would change while I sat in a nearby chair sipping on hot chocolate curled up with a favorite book.
Although the tradition has been modified with my own family, some moments still remain including my personal independent viewing of the tree. There is something about the atmosphere of the lights mixed in with the piney aroma that brings an era of peace.
While the days draw closer to Christmas and we begin to enjoy our family traditions, let us not forget what the true reason is for the season. May we continue to place the birth of Jesus above all things rather than succumb to the materialism and ancient relics to which we may be drawn to, but instead let us place Him above all else.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)