Saturday, December 24, 2011

Trees and Things

"Christmas Eve will find me where the love light gleams."

Most years I grow weary of close minded people griping about X-Mas, Happy Holidays, and so on. This year, however, there's been a strong response about Christ being in the midst of these.

My favorite, has been about Christmas trees. My atheist or agnostic friends are quick to point out to me that Christmas trees are not Christian. I enjoy the moment when they are shocked at my agreeing with them. Christmas trees were not present at the birth of Christ (nor were whales, octopi, or lobsters, but I love that scene in Love, Actually). And I'm okay with it. And I'd cry if there were no tree up in my mom's house this Christmas.

Why the tie? What's the point of putting up a tree, more capable it would seem of celebrating winter solstice than Christ?

For me, it has to do with that line in "I'll be home for Christmas" and a God who promises to shine in our darkness. Last year, all alone in Montana, I had a tiny little tree with one strand of lights. It didn't feel like home. The one time I felt like I was home was sitting in the church at night, with only the grand Christmas tree lit up. That glow, that "love-light" is Emmanuel, God with us. That glow is home. That glow is love.

Besides, Christ hung on a tree for us. That speaks some profound love that no darkness can conquer.

(Photo by Eric Renshaw. Taken at Opryland Hotel, where I go every year to see this tree and all the decor.)

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