I knew my bank account was running low, but I was expecting a birthday check in the mail. So, I told my youngest son that I could afford a Christmas Tree if I spent no more than $30.00. He agreed and we both started to feel excited about choosing the perfect little evergreen.
The Christmas tree farm we purchased our tree at last year only sold Douglas firs. I had seen a picture of a white fir and thought, "If I could find a small white fir for the right price, I would be able to decorate with fewer ornaments and subsequently would have less needles clean up." As a result, I decided to go to the larger, more popular Christmas tree farm. I figured, "I'll drive down the driveway, look at the price chart and turn around if I can't afford one of their trees." The tree farm was bustling with activity. From the car, we could see two boys swinging high in the air from what looked like tree swings. People were walking to their cars with their trees wrapped in plastic netting. And there was a long line to see Santa Claus who sitting inside an over sized sleigh.
Before we could even walk through the gate, my young and faithful son grabbed my hand and said, "Mom, can we pray?" I bowed my head and he began to pray, "Lord, we just bless You for this day. Thank you for this day. Please help us to find a cheap Christmas tree. Help us to find the one You want for us. We just bless You Lord. I love you Lord. In Your precious name, Amen." I immediately got down on one knee and hugged my son tightly. I said, "That's the way to pray Son. You always pray for God's will. I am so proud of you."
Just past the gate, we found ourselves staring at Santa. My son, said, "Look mom!" I asked, "Do you want to go see Santa?" He shook his head and said, "Yes, please." We walked right up to the sleigh and suddenly we were the only ones in line. Santa handed me a bite size candy cane as he invited my son to join him in the sleigh. My son hesitated and looked up to me for confirmation. I said, "Go ahead." Then he climbed in and sat upon Santa's lap. Santa asked what he wanted for Christmas and my son replied, "Power Rangers..." After that, he climbed back down and stood by my side. There was an awkward pause as though Santa was waiting for me to say something to him. I said, "Actually Santa, we believe in Jesus Christ." How was I to know his answer would affect me so intensely. The man in the Santa suit then looked me directly in the eye and said, "Me too! He saved me recently. I was in a coma and no one knew what was going to happen. But He let me live. So, I believe too!" I choked back the tears. Had Santa Claus really just shared his testimony with me? As we slowly walked away, I explained to my son that Santa was a believer too. He began to jump up and down and skip by my side.
I decided to chop the fir down myself. I had seen this done many times. "How hard can it be," I thought. So, I went back to the tree entrance and grabbed a hand saw. But after only about twenty minutes I was tired. I had attempted to cut through the whole tree. And when that didn't work, about halfway through, I went to the opposite side of the tree and made another cut. It was only when the second side was halfway through, that I noticed I had created two cuts at different levels. I sat back on my heels and wiped my brow. When out of nowhere I heard, "Do you want some help?" I said, "Yes please!" A young Christmas tree lot employee had come to my rescue. He was armed with a chainsaw. When he was done cutting the tree down, I asked him his name. He replied, "It's Michael." I smiled, and said, "Do you know your name means a gift from God?' "
Michael loaded the tree on the back of a tractor and asked us if we wanted a ride. My son looked up at me and said, "This is the best day ever!" I politely replied, "Yes, that would be great," and we hopped on the rear of the tractor.
|Our Christmas Tree|
Then, my son grabbed the front end of the tree as I held on to the stump. As we walked to our car, I noticed an elderly man parking his truck nearby. He held his hand out of the window and gave us the "thumbs up signal as if to say, 'Good job my faithful one.' " I couldn't wipe the smile from my face. Under my breath I said, "Thank you Lord. Thank you!"
We pulled up to our apartment and brought the tree inside. Instantly, I received several more blessings. First, I heard the cooing of two doves that were sitting on the telephone poll in front of our apartment. I smiled and thanked God. Next, our neighborhood ice cream man stopped at our street's stop sign while his ice cream truck started to play the song, "Oh come all ye faithful." I praised God again. Then my father called to tell me that he found an old Christmas tree ornament that I had given him years ago. He said, "It made me think of you and I wanted to call you and tell you that I love you." After that, my husband called. He had received a care package that I had sent to him over a week ago. I listened to my husband express his love and gratitude to me for over 15 minutes. Finally, my youngest son and I decorated the tree together. When we were finished, he asked to create his own ornament for the tree. When he brought his precious handmade gift to me, I was blown away. The heart shaped adornment simply read, "Jesus Loves You!"