Today we put up our Christmas tree! Over the last couple of years we have been using Ken's childhood "Genuine Aluminum Christmas Tree" from 1962. We got it in the original box out of Ken's parents attic! But last year our revolving light broke and we could not find a reasonably priced replacement. Additionally, the tree was "shedding" small pieces of aluminum all over the ground. Considering that it is 51 years old, this is not a big surprise. So, we actually decided to get a replacement this year. We decided to "down size" to a slightly smaller tree - it is 6 1/2 feet tall rather than 7 1/2 feet tall. And at the last minute we discovered that we both kind of liked the white version of the tree we had chosen. So, white it was! I am very, very happy with it. It fits perfectly, it was a snap to put up (pre-lit!) and it doesn't take up much room.
I love putting my tree up. From 1985 on, this was a part of our Thanksgiving weekend tradition. My mom always came to our house for Thanksgiving and putting up the tree with Grandma Nona always made it feel like she was part of our Christmas celebration. Neither Gwen or Doug ever got to celebrate Christmas with my mom - something that makes me feel sad. And over the years, I greatly missed being with her on Christmas myself. It is really hard to have so much distance and such bad weather keeping you apart. Anyway..... the other tree that is currently in our attic is one of the last things that my mom used her Montgomery Wards discount to buy. It was during her visit in 1998 that we purchased our first "slim tree". So when we were considering putting that tree up, we knew that it has seen its better days. Hence the new white tree!
So on this last day of November thankfulness, I am so thankful that I get to spend the holidays with my children and grandchildren. And I am celebrating that we all live within 75 miles of each other. This is a very big blessing and I don't want to forget to be thankful every day for this!
Jesus, thank you for seasons and celebrations and festivals and lights. Thank you for the Bible that allows us to know the story of your birth and gives us reason to enter into this month with great joy. Holy Spirit, turn our hearts towards heaven and the story of the birth of Jesus. Help us to see past the secular and the Santa and to celebrate the amazing gift Yahweh gave us - his Son, Jesus. Amen