True Living at Christmas: The Tree That Nearly Stole Our Christmas


December Series: True Living at Christmas
Part 3 of 4 – The Tree That Nearly Stole Our Christmas

Today’s Musing is from Donna Perkins.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” —Matthew 6:33

It had just been one of those days. You know the kind I’m talking about. The one where … if it could go wrong, it did, where nothing seemed to go right, and every one of us, parent and child alike, were in a frump.

It started out like any other Saturday with busy weekend stuff, the usual dump run, chores, homework, and housework. Great-grandma was coming for early supper and to decorate the tree with us. The afternoon had been reserved for finding just the right big tree.

We searched high and low for The One. No Charlie Brown trees allowed. It needed to be big, and it needed to be full. The pickings were slim and not all that appealing as trees everywhere that year seemed to dry out and drop their needles early. Finally, at the last place we stopped, the last tree we saw, this mama didn’t do well at keeping her disappointment to herself: “Our” tree—a really big, beautiful tree—had been set aside in the garage and reserved for the owner. It turned out that he could graciously part with it, but not without high cost to our wallet. Oh. Well. It was absolutely stunning, worth every dollar. It was big and full and thick, just the most gorgeous tree I’d ever seen. Did I mention that it was big?

We heaved it up on top of the car, strapped it down, and headed for home. We dragged it across the lawn and up the small front porch steps. We shoved. We pushed. We crammed. We pulled. We yanked. Finally, we got the tree through the door and into our living room. Have I mentioned that it was big? We went to stand it up. It didn’t fit! It was too big, way too big.

My husband, Ralph, and our son hauled it out. They did some cutting. They hauled it in. They hauled it out. They did some cutting. They hauled it in. They hauled it out. You get the picture.

While great-grandma and I were standing at the kitchen window preparing supper, the sight of my husband, saw in hand, head held low, shoulders slumped, slowly walking down into our woods, confirmed what all the trips in and out had told me. Things were not well with the really-big and way-more-costly tree than we could really afford. Right about that very appropriate time … not! Great-Grandma offered some “helpful” input. I gave her some helpful input right back.

We quickly mended that fence and went together to look at the tree. Yup … butchered! After I recovered from the initial shock of our gorgeous tree now ruined, I felt so bad for my husband that I decided right then and there to tell him that the tree looked just fine.

Meanwhile, Ralph returned from the woods empty handed. We decided to just set the now-not-nearly-so-big tree up anyway. We all creatively decorated it, and by the time we were done, the tree didn’t look quite so bad. We managed to hide a whole lot of big holes with big ornaments and lots of garland and a ton of lights. All seemed reasonably well. Until …

Evening had descended upon us, and we’d settled in for our usual nightly TV show. I had assumed the ritual position on the couch and drifted off to sleep. Somewhere in the back of my mind, behind closed eyelids, I heard a suspicious sound I knew I did not want to wake up for. Well, I did wake up, and what to my wandering eyes should appear? One sad, not-nearly-so-big-anymore tree laid right out flat on the floor in front of me. Ornaments strewn everywhere, ribbons twisted and askew, lights fallen and dangling about—our cats nowhere to be found and our kids laughing hysterically. Ralph and I were not laughing, by the way.

Then it happened!

This was our first Christmas as a household of faith. It was the first year that Christ was the reason for our season, the center of our celebration. We’d let all the small stuff get in the way of that, and we’d been in a frump.God used a fallen and flattened tree to remind us that it wasn’t about a tree, but about the biggest, best, and greatest gift of all time and eternity. It was about the sending of His son, not to be born as a baby, but to be born as the Sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. He came to die that we might live. We had forgotten that!

We picked that now sorry excuse for a tree right back up and plopped it back into its stand and tied it to the ceiling. We decided to leave the ornaments right as they lay on the tree as a wonderful contrast to remind us of the best and biggest gift God had given us.

We still look back on that Christmas as one of our most favorite and certainly the most pivotal one in our walk with Christ. Did I mention biggest?

God, thank You so much for Your unspeakable, indescribable gift of love. Thank You for fallen Christmas trees and needed reminders. Thank You that when we seek You first, all other gifts we need are given to us as well. I love You, Lord! Happy Birthday!

Donna is 40+ years happily married, a thankful and proud mama and nana of three children and eight grands—and owned by one mischievous kitty, Shadow. Donna’s passions are animals, nature, “old people,” and spreading the love and encouragement of Christ through sharing His Word.

Safe in His care,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Leona Kilpatrick
    December 20, 2021 1:02 pm

    Absolutely wonderful ❤ SHARING!!!!

  • Thank you for your writing and sharing. I actually laughed out loud while reading. Last year our tree fell THREE times! We have no pets! We do, however, have a son who always gets a big tree. The stand was too small! He rectified it after the third time. I am smiling as I write this because it is now a funny memory.❤️

  • Margaret Fowler
    December 20, 2021 1:48 pm

    I felt with you all through that story! And felt the emotions! God
    bless you for a great reminder of the true message of this season
    Jesus our Saviour.

  • It was comical as I envisioned the happenings with
    that Christmas tree. I appreciate your honesty in sharing.
    We all need reminders that the most important thing
    in life is our saving faith in Jesus. I love you, Donna.
    Thank you God for the greatest gift, my Savior, Jesus.

  • Yolonda Hignight
    December 20, 2021 11:03 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! God is great at reminding us of the Reason for the Season, even using a Christmas tree!!!!


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True Living at Christmas: Three Special Gifts
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