Robin Written By Robin Garrison Leach – Put Up That Christmas Tree Now

Ride that Christmas tree.

I know you are thinking of dropping this year. After all, the kids have grown up now, and the house only holds one or two people. Why bother, you ask yourself. Especially this year.

Dig in the attic / basement / closet for all of those decorations. Rearrange the living room to accommodate that tired tree. Why go to all the work and the mess?

I will tell you why. You need your Christmas tree. Now more than ever. It contains memories that will fill your heart with more warmth than any blazing fireplace. More tenderness than the sweetest whisper. And more joy than a heart can take.

Your tree lies there in its trash bag or worn cardboard box, just waiting to be touched by familiar hands. While not as sturdy as before – maybe a bit wobbly or bare in places – it still embodies your family’s magic in its branches.

In a world trembling with cynicism and superficiality, you had your Christmas tree to remind you of all that mattered.

The paper chains and popcorn garlands that circled your tree told the story in sweet simplicity. The ornaments made at home by your children have marked the passing of the years more succinctly than any timepiece.

Styrofoam balls covered with glitter. Gumball shaped snowmen, squashed with serious hands and innocent eyes. Pipe cleaner candy canes that found their way higher and higher in the tree each year as the little arms grew longer.

Plug in that strand of twinkling lights. Do you remember the way their reflection shone in your new baby’s eyes? Take a step back and let the magic of yesterday jump from bulb to bulb. You will feel the sweetness of the weather snuggling around your heart like pajamas with fluffy feet. Your arms will remember the weight of growing children; the eager tug of excited hands begging for a closer look.

Now. Pack a few things and place them under your tree. It doesn’t matter what you put inside. It never did. The joy was always in the jolts, the guesswork, the tears, and the looks inside.

Imagine those little Christmas morning faces, morons with unfinished sleep and beaming with vacation dreams. Remember how much you wanted to make these dreams come true. And remember how much love you can put in the smallest, simplest box.

Your babies are all grown up and gone. I know. Their lives are scattered here and there, like carelessly thrown garlands. They now have their own Christmas trees and they fill them with new memories. But while they are busy and looking after the future, you can sit back and enjoy your own beautiful tree: the one that stood yesterday in its branches.

It is decorated with precious keepsakes and priceless treasures. Golden laughs. Wide-eyed wonder. And love as purely given as three wise men offered to a baby king.

Don’t waste another minute. Ride that Christmas tree. He is waiting to fill your heart with heavenly peace.

Robin Garrison Leach is a freelance writer and columnist for Quincy. She can be reached at [email protected]

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