Thursday, December 4, 2008


The CHRISTMAS tree is a universal symbol of CHRISTmas. Most every home has at least one, many have more than one. Decorating the tree is an annual tradition that most families enjoy sharing together.

For me, I have a very traditional tree, one that is filled with ornaments collected through 35 years of marriage and 2 children. It has Hallmark ornaments that I've collected, one for each year of our married life. It has photos of my kids as they were growing up plus handmade ornaments each of them made. (Yes, I still put those paper ornaments on my tree!) When my children were growing up I cross stitched them an ornament each year, with the plan that when they married they would take those ornaments to start their own tree with. However, 20+ years later neither of them wanted them, so I've continued to use them. Each year now I give each member of our family a personal ornament selected just for them. I've also collected many ornaments related to the birth of our Savior.

Year before last, my mother gave me a very special gift. A set of 25 ornaments from Love Worth Finding that had a special devotional that corresponded to each one of the symbols or characteristics of CHRISTmas. An ornament is added each day culminating on CHRISTmas day with a single ornament bearing the name of JESUS. It is one of my most treasured set of ornaments and a treasured gift as well.

Many may see the CHRISTmas tree as a non-Christian symbol of CHRISTmas. However, I would like to offer a different view. Several years ago when my son was in high school, I accompanied his youth group to Albequerque, New Mexico. While there we stayed in different homes. A friend and I had the privilege of staying with a precious couple, Truett and Margie Gill. Knowing them even for that short week was a special gift from the Lord to me. They blessed my life in countless ways and I will never forget them!

Shortly after that trip, I received a CHRISTmas card from them with the following poem that Truett had written for their CHRISTmas musical program. I was so touched by this poem that I have displayed it every year since by a small ceramic CHRISTmas tree my mother-in-law made for us. It is another reminder of the TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas as well as a reminder of a special gift from a very special lady in our lives. Truett has now gone to be with the Lord, but I know he would be delighted for me to share his poem with you. It was a gift to be shared and treasured.

was a car-
penter most of
His life, and trees
were an important
part of His daily life.
Trees were the means of
putting food on the table
And for providing the other
needs of daily life. It is likely
that Jesus lovingly shaped trees into
objects of beauty and usefulness. It
was among the olive trees that He was
especially close to God the Father. At
the end of His ministry a cross was formed
from a tree, and this tree supported Jesus
in death, even as trees had supported Him in
other ways during His life. Perhaps it is not
an accident that through the years a Christmas
tree has emerged as the symbol and centerpiece of
the world’s celebration of the earthly birthday of the
Heavenly King. The "Living Christmas Tree" filled
with children of God singing praises to the King means
much more than a single story of traditional beauty of
Christmas trees and Christmas music. It is an expression
of praise for the miracle birth of His life, the marvel of the
Cross and the
Of the resurrection.

---Truett Gill

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