Monday, December 23, 2013

O Christmas Tree

Wow, it is hard for me to believe that Christmas is almost here.  I love all of the traditions of the Christmas holiday season.  One of our traditions is to go buy a permit and cut down a tree of our own off of public land.


This year we headed out to hunt for our Christmas tree when it was only -2 degrees outside. We bundled up as best we could and headed out.


It was so cold outside that the heat from inside the car formed frost, not on the outside of the window glass, but on the inside of the window glass.  I remember experiencing this for the first time when I came to Montana with Carl at Christmas time the first year we were married.  I remember telling my dad about it, and he was absolutely shocked that we were scraping off ice on the inside of the car window.


We stopped at what seemed like a great spot and started the hike into the woods.


After walking in quite a way, Carl seemed to me to decide to climb up the steepest incline in the whole woods to find the perfect tree.  He was probably right due to the fact that no one else in their right mind would have headed up the steepness of the cliff.  Well, it probably wasn't that bad, but it seemed pretty steep with slick snow and burning toes.


Very quickly into the hunt up the steep cliff, Lauren began to cry that her toes were burning. There were big crocodile tears.  Even though I knew there was a little bit of girl drama going on, I had to admit that my toes were on fire as well.  I just wasn't crying about it.  Very quickly we realized she was going to need to go back to the car to warm up.  Carl, Madison, and Nathan were troopers as they committed to continue on with the hunt.

Lauren & I headed down the hill carefully.  We got to a drop off, and I knew the only way for us to get down was to slide down.  My intention was to sit down, get ahold of Lauren, and for us to slide down together.  I sat down at the top of the drop off and shot down the hill like a rocket.  I let out a scream as I headed down.  I heard Lauren scream behind me and could tell she had shot down like a rocket herself.  She came to rest hard on my back.  Our screaming quickly turned to laughing as we laid together in the snow.  That slide down the hill was actually the funnest part of the tree hunt for Lauren & I.


Lauren and I made our way back down the hill to the car to get warm.  The rest of the crew came back down the mountain about 20 minutes later with the tree.


It needed a little trimming, but it was a good tree.  Here is Carl posing with Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree hunt is a great tradition for us.  It holds a different experience and story for us every year.  The Christmas tree is a symbol of life when everything else has seemed to die.  It does not change from summer to winter.  It is a symbol of Christ's unchanging love for us.

I am marveling this year about God sending His only son to save us.  What love!  A mother might die for her child or a husband for his wife, but how many would die for your enemies? How many would die for people who hated you?  Christ left heaven to come here to die on a cross for us.  We are so undeserving of His love.  We think it is all about us, but it really is all about Him, or should be.  I am thankful this Christmas season to God for loving us enough to see something in us worth saving.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

"Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11, NKJV

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