I was born in Upper Michigan and learned there, living on a small farm amidst a panorama of seasons, to appreciate all of the beauties of God's creation. It was there that I developed an interest in creative art and writing. As a retired R.N. I now find time to explore my creativity and share it with others. I hope that I can inspire others to become more aware of all the everyday gifts in nature that are all around us.

I remember when, as a child, we would tread through the newly fallen snow, to the woods, in search of our family Christmas tree. It was always fun to search for what we thought was the perfect tree and select it from the many trees in our wooded pasture. Upper Michigan had good soil for the evergreen trees and our nearby neighbor took advantage of it. Every year in early November already, he would be cutting enough of those beautiful trees to fill a large semi truck full and drive them to Chicago where he sold them for good prices.

Usually when we got our tree home, it always had to be cut down so it would fit into the living room.  That was dad’s job and was our job to help hold and settle it into the tree stand.  It was a family project which made  the  entire episode an exciting adventure for us children and dad. Mom would be playing Christmas music on the phonograph and making popcorn treats for us to enjoy later. It was a warm and cozy atmosphere that spelled family time and it was the best time.  Our little dog Laddie would be curled up under the stove ‘s belly watching us, his tail wagging now and then.

What fun it was to decorate the tree with pretty colored lights and balls, along with angel hair, ornaments and icicles. I wonder if they even make the angel hair for tree trimming anymore. It added a special touch to the tree  because it was so sheer and fragile, perhaps like angel wings.

Artificial trees are used frequently now, and they are pretty and less trouble to put up. However, the scent of pine that a real tree offers makes it so much more homey and Christmas like for a young family to enjoy, especially when everybody participated in bringing home their favorite selection. Of all of our holidays, it seems to me that the Christmas season is mostly about family, love and togetherness in sharing love and time with one another. It is a season to let ourselves be drawn together in love as we recall the real meaning of that first Christmas, so long ago, in Bethlehem, where in a manger, a child was born to bring hope and redemption to us all.  The stars in heaven still silently  blossom each night and remind us that the most important thing in life, not only at Christmas, but all year long, is that pure love which our Savior offered to us at His birth.

Whether you have an artificial tree or a real tree, may your holiday season be the most beautiful ever and I wish a merry Christmas to each of you.