RIP, Old Christmas Tree

Our old Christmas tree came in a box. It was made in China from plastic and steel by people who may or may not have known what Christmas was. It was shiny and new–with 600 pre-lit lights! But it wasn’t real. Still, all trees die in time, even those that aren’t real.

But for 25 years it was a part of our family. And every year it held more and more memories (humans call them “ornaments”). In its presence, we loved each other and loved the One whose birth we celebrated.

Eventually, it was rubbed bare. Half its lights and more than half of its needles were gone, so it was time to put it in a box forever. Its work was done. After all, it wasn’t real. But by the end, I think it had become real. Because, to paraphrase the wisest toy in the nursery’s words to the Velveteen Rabbit, When you’re around love for a long, long time–not just pretend-love but Real love–all of your fake fur or pine needles start to rub off…

And you become Real.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to RIP, Old Christmas Tree

  1. Beautiful and heartfelt ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh so sad the Old Tree had seen so much of your life it held many fond memories time for it to be laid to rest.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. revruss1220 says:

    Farewell, faithful Teemley Tree.
    Well done, good and faithful servant.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Remember last Thanksgiving when you showed us a Thanksgiving tree? Last Christmas I put up a prayer and thanksgiving tree and made signs to put at the top for each month. This is my second month. (It will be up forever now.) Each month, I take everything down and start over. I do have gold snowflakes that always stay up for my Muslim converts. But my white bulbs have a prayer request for one day tapes to them and my silver bulbs have thanksgiving for one day. Oh, and I have little doily coasters with the name of one church family which I add each day. At the end of December I took all down except my Muslim snowflakes and didn’t know what to do with my requests and thanksgiving for the month. I didn’t really want to throw them away. So I used the tape that had attached them to the bulbs to put them on pieces of paper as reminders to read through later. I have pictures, but don’t see a place for them. But, my tree has been a true blessing to me each time I walk past it and pause.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Piano girl says:

    Beautiful sentiment. And I love the Velveteen Rabbit. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. EilidhGClark says:

    This post is beautiful, thanks so much for sharing. R.i.p green one

    Liked by 3 people

  7. LifeooNaut says:

    The last quote got me! Wonderful!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. There comes a time in every Christmas tree’s life, sadly. But you still have the memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Bette Cox says:

    Mitch, it’s not just the tree, it’s the memories… every branch, every light, every minute you spent taking it out of the box, putting all the pieces together, dressing it with lovely ornaments and admiring it, those invisible memories flood your heart and spirit. Those will never be buried, they will be resurrected with a brand new tree (and brand new memories) in Christmases to come. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. catsartpics says:

    I stopped bringing a tree into my house many years ago because our Lord was crucified on a tree.
    If I’m not mistaken it’s a form of idolatry.
    Jeremiah 10: 2-4

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Are you a Jehovah’s Witness, Cat? (I know JWs teach that Jesus was crucified on a cross-less “tree,” but no historians do.) Actually, the practice of lighted pine “Christmas” trees (originally with candles) originated in 15th century Germany with Martin Luther. Many cultures have independently come up with the idea of decorating trees (without basing it on ancient myths). It’s rather a natural idea since most decorating throughout history has consisted of arranging things found in nature–and evergreen trees are particularly beautiful. Also, during the winter, virtually every place in the world where evergreens grow has historically decorated their homes with them–since they are natural symbols of life during the barren months. Blessings.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Pam Webb says:

    Not into Christmas this year, our tree was a palm plant. We gave away our tree years ago when the last of the kiddos moved away. Time for new traditions, Mitch!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. bwcarey says:

    as wise as Solomon, well said, like a reliable old jumper, thanks,

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Awwww, I love this post! Bye bye tree…😢

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Love Alone says:

    Reblogged this on Love and Love Alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Kelle Porter says:

    RIP dear tree

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  16. librepaley says:

    ‘But by the end, I think it had become real’ – just perfect, the living representation of precious family Christmases.

    Liked by 2 people

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