The White Christmas Tree
by: Aynne McAvoy


I made up my mind last summer that this Christmas was going to be different. So much of what our family does is now by rote, rather than enjoyment of the season.  So, I vowed to shake things up.

One such point to change was the Christmas tree issue.  We bought the last Christmas tree the Christmas before my husband and I were married. It's been looking sadder and sadder every year, and every year I just
plopped more ornaments on it to make it look better.

This year I wanted something different. I wanted WHITE.  I could see this beautiful luscious tree in my minds eye with fewer ornaments, not more. I could see the placement of this lovely tree in our living room.

My hunt for this grand tree began on Black Friday.  Sadly, it must be that everyone in the Syracuse, NY area had shared this vision with me, and had raced to every store with a white tree and bought them up.  My husband
and I went from store to store to store, each time finding that all the white ones were sold out, and the store personnel unsure of when more would be in. There were a few stores in the area that still had white trees; however they either resembled white sticks formed to resemble a tree (some avant-garde arty thing perhaps), or were an outrageous amount of money that I could support a third world family for a year for the same amount.

 

During these rounds of tree hunting, we happened into a Dollar General.  (Things are not just a dollar there, but very inexpensive just the same.)  There was a white Christmas tree for sale for $20.  My husband suggested laughingly that we buy that one.  The picture on the box looked gorgeous, but how gorgeous could a $20 tree be?

I continued to hunt day after day for my elusive tree, becoming more and more discouraged. I would look for this tree before work and on my days off.  I checked newspaper store ads and made inquiry calls to the stores.  It was time to get the tree up and decorated!  I bought snow in a can to whiten up the old tree, just in case.  I even considered spray-painting the old one white. 

Again my travels took me back to the same Dollar General Store, which is next door to the vets.  They still had those poor white trees in the boxes. On a desperate whim, and determined that I WOULD have my white  Christmas tree this year, I bought one.

I brought it home and dumped the box on the living room floor and went on to do some household chores.

Later that night, my husband took the tree out of the box and put it together.  However, he hadn't pulled out all the little branches, so when I looked at it, standing stick-like in the living room, I proclaimed we needed to get the spray
paint out for the old tree; we weren't keeping that pathetic excuse for a tree!  My husband mildly argued with me, pointing out the little branches hadn't been pulled out yet, and the tree still might turn out pretty.  "BAH HUMBUG" I said.

The tree still stood there just like that for two days. Every time I looked into the living room I'd think, "I need to get that thing back in the box and back to the store." 

I was in the throes of decorating the house with tinsel and Santa and elves and all sorts of Christmassy things.  One day I sat on the loveseat and absentmindedly began to pull the little branches apart.  It became almost therapeutic, like popping the bubbles in bubble wrap.  I became absorbed in the task at hand.  I also began to get hesitantly excited about this little tree.

I finally had all the little branches pulled out and I was amazed how pretty this little tree had become.  I took more and more time with it.  My husband peeked into the living room and noticed me slowly pulling the little branches apart.  He commented that he thought I was "gonna take that  'damn tree' back."

I ignored him and started to decorate it.

The more I decorated it, the prettier it looked.  The more I passed the living room and glanced in, the more I thought, "my God, that little tree is PRETTY!"  That thought kind of grew into "My God, that little tree is REALLY pretty!"

Of course, that little Charley Brown tree has now won a place in my heart and in my home.  I threw away the return receipt the other day.  No need to keep it now.

I am reminded by this tree to not judge a tree by the box or not to judge a tree by how much it cost.  I am reminded to not judge people by these shallow things; their outer coverings.  I am reminded that with a little love and time, we just might find beauty where none was there before.  I am reminded the magic of Love.

Have a wonderful Christmas season, one and all of you!  May each of you find you're own "White Christmas tree" this year.