Monday, December 20, 2010

Tree Hunt {O Christmas Tree}

The hunt begins...

Joseph cuts down the tree Cliff & Billie selected.

Peter cuts our tree down.

Cousins and grandparents and trees, oh my!

Sawyer takes Cliff's hand on the way out.

Violet sings as we head back to the cars.

"The Christmas tree enriches the symbolic value of the nativity scene, which is a message of fraternity and friendship, an invitation to unity and peace, an invitation to make space for God in our life and society. He offers us His omnipotent love through the fragile figure of a child, because He wants us to respond freely with our own love. Thus the nativity scene and the tree bear a message of hope and love, and help to create an environment in which to experience the mystery of the birth of the Redeemer..."  ~Pope Benedict  XVI  Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas tree hunting is one of those family traditions that brings back strong memories.
Each year when we go tree hunting, Tim re-lives the many times he was told to "stand here" while his parents kept searching for the perfect tree.  Soon his brother, Craig, would be told to "stand here" so they could compare the marked trees and make their final decision.  
This year when Tim told that familiar (tall?) tale, Zachary pulled out his cell phone and offered to snap photos for the same purpose~ finding the perfect tree.  But there were so many beautiful trees from which to choose, that the selecting didn't take very long.  

In my home growing up, our 15+ foot ceiling made way for some gigantic Christmas trees.  One year my parents had to rig a pulley system to raise the tree onto its stand.  Big trees, big memories. 

Our tree is trimmed, and wrapped packages are beginning to appear beneath the decorated branches.  Our hearts are filled with joy at the coming of our savior at Christmas!   

Today's Gospel reading:

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
~ Luke 1: 26-38 

May we follow our Blessed Mother, Mary, and make ourselves completely open to God's will in our lives.

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