O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbomb
By Hally Franz –
Red wire ribbon and cardinals—that might be my first choice. Given recent events, and the fact that I am geographically a member of “Cardinal Nation”, I need to clarify that I am referring to the beautiful winter bird rather than the team. Although, I know of one family who may very likely have a tree dedicated to this year’s World Series Champions.
If not the red tree, I’d like a gold and silver one with lots of shiny balls and bling. And, it would be fun to have a miniature tree in my kitchen, all decked out with tiny copper cooking utensils. Truthfully, each year as I visit Christmas stores, I admire the fabulous, themed trees. They are color-coordinated works of art. Some of them are so stunning they look good even hung upside down. Imagine that! So, each year I lament that one day I will have a themed tree in addition to our humble Franz Family tree.
What our tree lacks in design, it makes up for in variety. There are airplanes and apples, reflective of the careers my husband and I have had in aerospace and education. There are a few pickles, symbolic of an old German tradition, which I can’t accurately remember now. Some ornaments are souvenirs from summer vacations, a pair of kopeli from Arizona and twin pirate ships from the Outer Banks.
Though it is not fashionable, it could be functional. If there were an accident nearby, it would double as a first-aid kit. There are countless cotton balls and tongue depressors available by simply cannibalizing a few of my children’s handmade crafts. Of course, I would hate to do that, but what choice would I have in an emergency situation?
Our tree is not coordinated, but maybe that makes sense. Perhaps there is symmetry in the fact that this secular symbol of Christmas is humble and simple. After all, our holy symbols reflect the humble and simple scene of Christmas. Each year, as we place our nativities around our home, we are reminded of the birth of Jesus, which was anything but fancy. It was, however, beautiful and designed to perfection.
Does humble equal stunning, simple equal fabulous, and lowly equal grand? It may not when we are talking Christmas trees, but, where God is involved, you bet it does!
PRAYER: Father God, remind Your children during this holiday season of the eternal beauty in the lowly birth of Your Son, and in all the wonders of Your hand.
BIBLE VERSE: “And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (Luke 2:7 NIV).