I love the holiday season! The giving, the music, the lights, the snow, and the Christmas Tree. It’s not just the Tree that I love, but the experience of putting it up each year. This week I bought a tree from the Boy Scouts of Canada when I saw them set up in the parking lot outside the grocery store. There they had a lot with dozens of trees to choose from, the proceeds of all tree sales going towards funding the organization’s outdoor adventure and leadership programs. Filling our home with Christmas spirit, while supporting the next generation of adventure seekers sounded like a win-win to me, so I gladly threw in a few extra bucks to support the Scouts!
Two ten year old boys showed me around the lot, proudly explaining the differences between each species of tree and giving me their best sales pitch. They argued a bit over which tree was in fact the best and even asked the all important question “will the tree be placed in a corner, or in front of a window?” Yikes, I hadn’t thought of that. Should that determine which tree I select? In the end, I chose a tree that neither of the boys had named the ‘best’, but one that sat alone in the back. I didn’t want a fight to ensue over which salesman had made the better pitch. They both seemed pleased though, with the not-too-tall Fraser Fir that I chose.
One Scout collected my cash and went to fetch change, while the other dragged my twice-his-height tree to my car. He said “Merry Christmas, thanks for supporting the Boy Scouts” and ran off to a circle of high fives and cheers as the group added my cash to their fundraising jar.
Twenty days before Christmas and I may have already given the most appreciated gift of the season.
Once home I struggled with the tree for a while, trying to get it to stay in its stand. It became clear I had selected a bit of a wild one! I thought to myself several times; maybe I should have considered the whole corner vs. window thing. My tree had a giant hole in the back. OK, I’ll put it in the corner to hide that. Then I noticed one rogue branch pointing right when all its neighbours were pointing left. No problem, perfect place for our wooden ski ornament. Next I realized one of the largest main branches front and centre was completely bare, no needles at all. How did I not see that when I made my selection!? Oh well, good place for a garland.
Two winter Ale’s and two thirds of the way through ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and I think I’ve got it. I’d turned and twisted the tree a dozen times; I’d trimmed a few unruly pieces with my kitchen scissors and covered the whole thing in lights, tinsel, dorky recycled ornaments and a tiny old toque as a topper.
My Christmas tree is ugly.
It’s going three different directions. It’s lopsided and leaning, and it’s got holes that are too big to fill with tacky plastic trinkets. Somehow though, it works. If I step back and look at it, it seems un-perfectly perfect. And if I dim the lights and squint my eyes a little, it’s a real thing of beauty!
When I think about it, our un-perfectly perfect Christmas Tree is a lot like our lives. Quite often we are the ones going three different directions at once…sometimes we need to fill in the holes, and there’s constantly room for improvement. Even with all the flaws though, it is still always, always beautiful in its own quirky way.
We’d like to wish you all a happy holiday, and hope that you are able to embrace the beauty in all the flaws and imperfections in your lives. After all, they are what keep life exciting and adventurous!
Cheers to an un-perfectly perfect Christmas, from Irie Adventure Tours!
I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love. – Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas.