Christmas Tree

Christmas tree: (n) a decorated tree at Yuletide

“If you want a tree, go get it yourself.”

That’s what my dad said when I was fourteen years old and asked him why we had not put up our tree as of yet, at Christmastime.

Normally the practice was to pick a tree and decorate it on my birthday–one week before Christmas. But for some reason, December 20th had rolled around and nobody had even mentioned getting one.

I was offended, disrupted, angry, bewildered, uncertain, out-of-spirits and generally and profoundly rebellious, in the most adolescent way possible.

So I complained. That’s what I knew how to do.

Since I had asked at least a half a dozen times about the tree, I felt it was time for me to object. he option provided for me by my dad was to go get a tree myself.

This was plausible because our family owned a little farm outside the town, where we grew some Christmas trees. So I had my brother drive me out to the location, grabbed a little hatchet and headed off through the snowy ground to bag myself an evergreen.

With my chubby legs and being severely out of shape, I was completely exhausted from the walk to the pines–ready to give up on my mission. After all, it wasn’t my fault. I was not in charge. If the damn family didn’t want a tree, then we should be treeless.

But the problem was, that included me–and I didn’t want to be treeless.

So braving the cold, little hatchet in hand, I found what I thought would be a good tree and began to whack at the trunk.

My hatchet had obviously been purchased by Davy Crockett when he went to the Alamo and not sharpened since. The first three strikes at the tree trunk didn’t even split the bark. So as not to bore you, I will shorten this story by telling you that an hour later, sweat pouring off my face, I finally got the tree to give up its roots and prepare to move to my home.

The trunk was an absolute mess. It was not a cut, but rather a massacre. But I drug it out, my brother and I put it on top of the car, and we drove it to the house. He kindly helped me saw the bottom off to make it even so we could put it into the Christmas tree stand. To add insult to my effort, it ended up being too tall. We had to cut off part of the top.

But eventually it sat in our living room, waiting to be adorned.

That evening when my father returned from working at his loan company, he stepped into the house, looked at the tree, and said to me, “Is that the best tree you could get?”

I didn’t respond to him directly, but in my mind I thought, “Yes. It’s the best tree I could get. Because this year it’s my tree.”

 

 

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Birthday

Birthday: (n) the anniversary of the day on which a person was born

Find the reason.Dictionary B

There are too many things we do in life that are either absent purpose or have lost direction, but continue to be honored in some awkward way.

Because we do not understand the true value of a birthday, we come up with cakes, cards, silly gifts, and nervous congratulatory statements to cruise through the twenty-four hours, relieved that it only happens once a year.

The reason for a birthday is to establish how well we have used the blessing of 365 days.

If you find yourself discontented or embarrassed to look back on the activities of the previous year, then you know the greatest gift you can be given on your birthday is a gentle kick in the “assaroni” to do better.

Our lives should mean something.

They should not be apologies for the activity level we have selected, based upon our circumstances.

They should not be a listing of the people who love us because we have decided to love them.

A birthday is a celebration of growth in the passing of a year, instead of passing a year with no growth.

There are three things I want to hear on my birthday:

1. We’re glad you’re here.

2. You make our lives better and easier.

3. We are astounded at how many of the things you wanted to do this year that you were able to accomplish.

Now, that is a Happy Birthday.

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Belated

Belated: (adj) coming or happening later than should have been the case

Dictionary B

“You are not important enough for me to remember your birthday, but I am important enough for you to be overjoyed that I finally sent you a greeting.”

This is belated in a simple explanation.

It is the idea that life is so busy that it’s only natural for us to be forgetful, careless and tardy.

It’s the person who constantly arrives late to a luncheon, saying “sorry,” and then gives a litany of lame excuses for the delay:

  • Lots of traffic.
  • Something came up at the last minute.
  • My GPS screwed up.
  • I thought we were supposed to meet a half an hour later.
  • I got a phone call just as I pulled into the parking lot.
  • Well, I could go on and on with examples, because inconsiderate people never run out of explanations on why they are more important than you are.

We need to remember that forgiveness is not something we can ask for, but rather, something that’s granted.

Our job is to admit we are wrong.

Forgiveness is up to other people to provide to us–out of the kindness and gentleness of their heart.

People who are obsessed with belated greetings are not only trying to justify themselves, but also assuming that we will pardon them… because they are so essential to our well-being.Donate Button

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Age

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Age: (n) 1. the length of time that a person has lived 2. a period of history 3. (v) to grow older, especially visibly

When I was twelve, I really wanted to be thirteen. God, I ached all over! It was probably just the onset of puberty, but I didn’t know.

I really looked forward to eighteen, too. Twenty-one was cool, but since eighteen was the new voting age and I wasn’t that interested in drinking–not a big deal.

I felt a little giddy when I was twenty-five because I got to be in that group of “over twenty-five.”

Thirty put a chill down my spine, but then I realized I had nine more years for the decade. By forty I had so many kids that I barely remember the birthday.

Fifty was spooky. It’s when I really began to notice that age IS an issue. I don’t know–maybe my skin turned grayer, or I limped more, or wrinkles formed in my forehead? I’m not sure. But suddenly, everybody under the age of thirty started to treat me like a senior citizen.

It was quite frightening when the envelope arrived from AARP, inviting me to be a member. I recall how horrified I was the first time some teenage girl at Applebee’s asked me if I wanted to apply my senior citizen’s discount. A little piece of my soul wanted to roll over, crumple and die.

But I have especially noticed it this year, as I travel around the country. Younger folks think it’s powerful to treat me like I’m over the hill and couldn’t possibly have anything to share with anyone who isn’t eating their meals through a straw.

Actually, I think we have four different “ages:”

  1. An emotional age, which should be more mature, but most folks freeze at about thirteen.
  2. A spiritual age–a delicate blending of a child’s heart and the wisdom of Solomon.
  3. A mental age, only determined by how willing we are to continue to learn instead of pouring cement into our cranial cavity.
  4. And a physical age, which is strongly determined by genetics, lifestyle and willingness to exercise and consume fruits and vegetables.

If you average all four of those ages, you arrive at your actual number. You should try it.

By the way, I tallied mine. I came up with 43 years, 8 months.

That’s about right.