I'm usually very particular when I select a tree - just the right height, it has to be, not too broad, not too narrow, only a certain green will do.
But when I saw this tree, he just took my breath away.
I recounted tearfully to my son, why I absolutely had to have him. 'Imagine being a tree,' I told him. 'Full, and lush and green in some forest somewhere. And everyone around you is growing straight and strong just as they should. And you are warping and twisting, trying as hard as you might but still going entirely the wrong way. I would think your mother would watch over you even more carefully. Imagine then that you were cut down, taken away from your comfort, knowing you were going to your death. The only reward for this suffering would be that you might get to be a Christmas tree for a family. You would be brightly lit and decorated and sung around and adored. And then imagine that when the families came to select a tree, every time you were passed over. No one wanted you. Can you imagine that? So I just had to bring him home.'
I was sobbing by the time I finished. My son looked at me like I'd grown a fish out of my forehead. He hugged me nonetheless, being the good boy he is, and when the girls came down and looked at the scene he just waved them off and we stood there until I shook off my melancholy.
The thing is, it's not just about the tree. It's about an imperfect world, my city so worn and weary from its troubles, my children's schools, a million things. All of these things capable of great glory and wonder, broken in places, entirely wrong in others. I wish I could fix all of those things. I wish I could get people to see.
The message of the season is not, 'Be pretty, even if you have to pretend. Love and appreciate only the right and righteous in life. You must pass by the ugly, disregard the broken.'
What good is there in that?
The message of the season is, 'Love even the twisted and failing. Love before all other things. Love as He loves, completely and without judgement of your flaws. You are all ways beautiful.'
So I bought a crooked Christmas tree. And I love him. Isn't he grand?