Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How lovely are thy branches

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas, a tradition that I have held since I was a child, is to lay down near or under the decorated tree on Christmas Eve and look up through the lighted branches. Like looking up at an azure sky on clear summer day, I get lost in it: in its depths, its height, the twinkle of the lights, the quiet of the night.

Perhaps as a child I was imagining what it was like to be a present under the tree, waiting to be unwrapped, to give joy and surprise to someone. Maybe I imagined myself as Clara in The Nutcracker when the festive tree grows to accomodate a small army of mice.

Now it is a time of meditation and peace on a late, busy night when I am going back and forth to church to sing in the choir and playing Santa in between. And it really isn't Christmas until I have done this.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
Your beauty green will teach me
That hope and love will ever be
The way to joy and peace for me.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
Your beauty green will teach me.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition, one that you might celebrate alone?


Andy said...

I love your tradition.

I have watched George C. Scott's "A Christmas Carol" every Christmas season since 1987. At first I did so alone, now I do so with my family. Also, the soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" must be playing while we drink egg nog and decorate the tree.

Cynthia said...

For me, "It's a Wonderful Life", which Santa brought on DVD for our family this year. ;-)

And I LOVE the Charlie Brown Christmas music. Linus' recitation of Luke 2 is my favorite part.

(you're on the computer at 7:30 a.m. on Christmas?)

Andy said...

I watch "It's a Wonderful Life" each year, too but "A Christmas Carol" is my tradition.

Yes, I'm on the computer at 7:30 a.m. on Christmas Day because I haven't left to pick up Jenna yet and Katie is still sleeping before the busy day ahead. Me? I'm always up this early.