• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Light Up Like A Christmas Tree

When we were little it was a Christmas Eve tradition, after church, to go see the world's largest Christmas tree! Right here in Wilmington, NC. You had to go downtown to see it, not New York City! I can remember just getting out of the car and staring at that tree. It was the most beautiful thing I had seen! In the middle of a dirt parking lot!

I read somewhere that in a recent Christmas season Americans set up 35 million Christmas trees. I still love my Christmas tree and enjoy sitting and enjoying the lights! Our tree is always in the den with us so I can enjoy it! For the past few years I have opted for a white tree with clear lights. I also have one of the old small green ceramic trees with colorful lights. I used to put up a tree in the den, living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Yes, I enjoyed it but this is the problem: what goes up must come down! I keep it very simple these days!

According to Ann Shorb, the first record of a decorated Christmas tree was in 1510 in Latvia. The custom grew and was popular among Lutherans in Germany where people decorated their trees with wafers, paper flowers, fruits, nuts, gold foil and small cakes and candies. The tree was a reminder of eternal life and His gift of Jesus Christ. Green symbolized hope and new life in Christ.

The tradition continued to grow and spread to England by German Prince Albert who married Queen Victoria.  Later German immigrants living in Pennsylvania put up the first Christmas tree in the United States on December 20, 1821.  President Franklin Pierce popularized this custom by placing a Christmas tree at the White House. Another legend is that the evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life in winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year.

As we anticipate Christmas day let's focus on Jesus making us a new creation. Even in the roughest seasons of our lives we can know that Jesus is with us. Our tree can remind us we are a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5: 17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

We bring dead trees in our homes and decorate them with pretty ornaments and light them with pretty sparkly lights. We make the dead trees beautiful just like Jesus gives us new life and makes us beautiful. We were dead inside, but Jesus came to live in our hearts and now we have life and we are shining so bright that others want what we have!

O Come let us adore Him!

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