It started with a trip up the hill, past the barn, towards the Round House and the Burnham Woods....
Two little boys and me, the oldest one seven years old, shy and serious, carrying his small saw proudly and carefully. The youngest, just turned four a few days before, chatting away and loving life. Me the grandma with the creaky bones ((grin)) Our mission was to harvest a little soft needle pine tree growing near the Round House as our Christmas Tree 2010. I haven't had a real tree in a good many years, but this year it just seemed right and this sparse little tree, growing up beneath the large trees needed to be thinned out and would be perfect. So away we went.
The oldest worked quickly and carefully, making sure his brother was not to close to the sharp saw:
Their Dad came along, tall and strong, to see if we needed any help but the job was done:
And so we decorated, the two little boys with Papa and I watching on. While we decorated we talked about why we have Christmas and who was born on that day. After the ornaments were all on the tree, we opened the Nativity set. Each one tries to unwrap the tissue that will find Baby Jesus. When we had each figure placed carefully we took a moment to enjoy:
The little brother asked "Grandma, is Jesus real?" And of course I said, "Yes, He is. Do you know where Jesus lives?" (thinking he would say in Heaven) but the wise little child said "He lives in our hearts. And if He doesn't, we get very cross" Oh, my! Such simple true words, from an innocent heart.
Papa noticed that all of the ornaments are at the bottom of the tree. I had thought to rearrange them after the boys left. But as I looked at those rows of ornaments that the little boys, four and seven, had placed on the tree's lowest branches where they could reach them, I thought about how it won't be long before they are tall and strong like their Daddy and will be able to reach the top branches.
I decided to leave the ornaments right where they are and I thought about how fast time goes by.
I thought about Baby Jesus who also grew to be a strong man but who was our Saviour right from the start, and how His heart was filled with love for each of us all along. And I prayed that He will always be real to our boys and alive in their hearts. This morning, while it was still dark with only the lights from the tree shining, Papa said "I like our little Christmas tree"
Merry Christmas to our friends and family, 2010