It dawned on me as I tramped through the woods on a brisk Sunday afternoon, that some of the most beautiful Christmas trees don’t need any decorations at all.
In fact, one I spotted as I rounded a corner near a pond, looked even more stunning than the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Wearing a regal white snow drape and striking a pose all tall and strong, the tree stood alone in that crowded forest.
I’ve walked that path a thousand times and I don’t recall noticing that tree. It felt like an early Christmas present (as did my time in that beautiful woods).
I appreciated not just the view of that spectacular tree, but all it represented to me.
I’m not ready for Christmas. Not at all. I still have presents to buy, meals to plan, cookies to bake, boxes to wrap, rooms to ready and a bunch of other tasks I haven’t even thought of yet.
More than one of my gifts has been sitting in transit at various UPS sites around the country. A present I ordered weeks ago from one country is being manufactured in another, which is pretty disappointing.
Not all of my people are going to make it home this year.
But, none of that is Christmas anyway.
Christmas is the grateful recognition that, while we all walk our own paths, we don’t walk them alone.
We can celebrate that as lavishly or as humbly as we choose. Both can be equally beautiful.
I hope the peace I found Sunday afternoon in the woods finds all of you as we roll into this crazy, hectic, holy week.
God bless us, everyone.