The Tree That Smelled Like Christmas

by Jan Elsea

Genesis 1:11 NIV
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

Three weeks before Christmas, for as long as I can remember, Dad piled us kids into his old Ford pickup and drove north to a forest. There we began the search for the perfect tree. One year Dad said he’d decided to cut down a Juniper tree. “Mom won’t like it,” I told him. “Well, I do, because it smells so good.”

Mom was not happy. “Jim,” she said, “that is really an ugly tree. Why did you select a Juniper?” “Because it smells like Christmas,” he replied. “When we’re done decorating it we’ll have a beautiful tree, you’ll see.” She was a good sport, and set about helping us put ornaments, lights, strings of popcorn and tinsel on its branches.

Christmas morning came, and we ran into the living room. The lights glowed on the tree, and presents were piled under it. We joined hands for our traditional prayer. Mom said she wanted to go first. “Thank you, dear God, for the baby Jesus, my wonderful family, and this tree,” she said, “which does indeed smell like Christmas!”

Prayer: Thank you, Holy Spirit, for wonderful memories of the family that loved me unconditionally.

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