The Phillips Family Christmas Tree: “originally written as a facebook note”
Many years ago, I was living in Houston, TX with my husband Randy and our young son Jay. It was Christmas time and we could not go home because I was great with our soon to be born son, “James.”
We had lost our son, David, the January before and this pregnancy was especially delicate and of great importance to the entire family.
My husband did not want to spend money or time on a tree, so my son Jay and I made a Christmas tree out of the long cardboard tubes from wrapping paper. The makeshift tree was not an adequate structure for ornaments and fell over.
After many tears and guilt over no tree, my husband relented and decided to allow the purchase of a tree.
It was Christmas Eve when the decision was made and by this time there were no trees left at the only store still open, the local Drug Store.
I had seen trees advertised there earlier for 29.99 and was certain we could find one there.
When we got to the store, my heart sank when I realized there were no more trees lining the shelves.
I stood in the store and cried as the manager announced that there was not a single tree left to sell.
He felt so sorry for the heartbroken pregnant woman, who wanted a tree, that he agreed to sell the tree from cosmetics for $15.00, ornaments and all.
I’m sure he just wanted me to stop crying. He escorted me to the beautiful little tree and removed all cosmetics. He gently placed the tree in a fall box.
I proudly took the fully decked tree home for Christmas. I was so proud and happy to have such a beautiful little tree.
That tree was the center of our family Christmas for thirty-four years. It had missing branches and a few newer ornaments, but it still had the original star, silver, and gold beads, as well as many of the original ornaments.
Even though it was badly beaten from the years of use and storage, it still brought me great joy when I would see my children and grandchildren string the lights and place the star on top.
It was a reminder of the hope the season brings as well as the promise to those who trust in God.
Just as Joseph decided to trust in Mary and God, we too must trust in the mercy and goodness of God.
This Christmas picture of the tree is particularly special as Ruby is the daughter of James, the baby I was carrying that Christmas so long ago.
He was the baby inside the scared, yet hopeful young pregnant mother.
The tree was a symbol of the promise of Christ and the coming joy.
For this mother, it was a symbol of the hope for the new life growing inside of me.
My tears of sadness from losing my son David would soon be tears of joy when I was able to deliver the new life that God had anointed and hold him in my arms.
I shared in this moment with Mother Mary, who was also fearful and had to place all of her trust in God’s will and His promise of a life growing inside.
The Lord blessed our family with a new life. A life that brought great joy to the entire family.
The Lord blessed Mary and she gave birth to the savior of the world.
The Christmas Tree is not just a symbol inherited from Pagan rituals of the past, it has become for Christians and all people a symbol of hope for a world filled with life, love, joy, and peace.
Praise God for His many blessings.
Granny still has this tree but it has not been put up officially since the last child left home.
My children are all grown and have family traditions of their own, but the memories of this little tree of hope still linger for us all.