Adorning the Tree {Beyond the Evergreen}


We drag out the buried box. The one wrapped in duct tape from years past. I remember joy bursting as my husband and I scraped enough money to buy this tree as newlyweds.

Now, it seems old. Skimpy. Worn thin and I scold myself quietly for not yet buying another or picking fresh. But my son, the four year-old bouncing out of sheer anticipation, sees the promise of beauty and I force myself to emulate his excitement.

I’ve gotten good at assembly and my boy is eager to learn the process. As I go through the motions, I hear him counting. Soon he exclaims:

“There are 25 branches, Mom!”

It is then I realize Jesus is speaking to me. Reminding me this is His season. Not mine. And I receive the gift He hands me right then as I seek forgiveness while explaining Advent’s 25 days with my boy.

As we conform each branch to reveal its true beauty, my heart reminds me:

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in Me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NRSV

We untangle twinkle lights next and I tell my son about the star in the eastern sky. As his long lashes reflect the sparkle, my thoughts trail to:

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

A lump in my throat grabs hold as I wonder if I have been illuminating Him lately…and I vow right then to ensure I am shining bright all season long.

Christmas Ornament Collage ~ Simplystriving CC

My son opens the ornament box and gasps in pure delight as he sees his forgotten handiwork. We hang our stories one by one. Some gifts given by loved ones. Some sentiments we’ve made through messes of joy.

With our own hands, we adorn this symbol — our gift of creation. While stepping back to truly see, I’m reminded winter is only a season. That even through this barren time, some manage to reveal life. And we witness firsthand how the hills sing out their songs of joy before the Lord. (Psalm 98:7-9)

We garland the tree with our homemade paper chain. This advent wreath we will take apart each day and discover more of God’s names and attributes (Free Printable Found HERE).

Advent Garland

I then reach tall and explain why most Christmas trees have an angel or star on top. This year we’ll show the star with the lights and the angel will get center stage. Yet some years I might need the star above, pointing the way.

And I reveal to my 4 year-old our tradition. How we will keep creating stories; every day now until Christmas, we’ll continue adorning each of its 25 branches.

Because God’s gifts never stop and the most important gift of Jesus deserves to be celebrated each day.

It’s then we bend low to see big. To see our adorned beauty. Worship the One who created artwork we could contribute to.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture,
the flock under His care.

Today, if only you would hear His voice…
Psalm 95:6-7

Friends, no matter your Christmas tree traditions, may we resound praise. May we be reminded this is His season, not ours, and do what we can to illuminate Him. May we slow down enough to hear His voice and extend our branches to bless another. And most of all, praise Him for a life promised…longer than an evergreen’s.

16 Responses to Adorning the Tree {Beyond the Evergreen}
  1. Mia
    December 9, 2012 | 5:36 am

    Hi dear Nikki
    What a beautiful post. I love the simplicity with which you teach your son. He seems like a darling. I see in my minds eyes those big eyes with the long curly lashes looking up at you and it stirred my heart for we to often loose that childlike wonder.
    Thank you and hugs to you and a BIG one for your son XX

    • Nikki
      December 10, 2012 | 9:59 am

      Thank you, Mia! Yes, those long lashes get me every time! They frame wonder in the most brilliant way…

      Love and hugs to you!

  2. ~Karrilee~
    December 9, 2012 | 10:26 am

    Simply beautiful, Nikki!

    • Nikki
      December 9, 2012 | 3:38 pm

      Thank you, Karrilee! Let’s bend low to see big this week, friend. Hugs to you!

  3. Susie Klein
    December 9, 2012 | 2:07 pm

    My favorite Christmas post this year! Thank you for this beautiful story, I can see and hear the sweetness.

    • Nikki
      December 9, 2012 | 3:39 pm

      Thank you for sharing with us today, Susie! Thrilled to see you here. Trust you are finding your own way to celebrate the reason for the season! Hugs to you!

  4. Laurie
    December 9, 2012 | 2:46 pm

    Beautiful, Nikki! Thank you for always pointing me to our Savior.

    • Nikki
      December 9, 2012 | 3:40 pm

      Thank you for joining me on the journey, friend. Hugs to you!

  5. Dawn
    December 10, 2012 | 3:47 am

    I love the way our Lord, takes moments in time and turns them into a classroom for one where we ourselves are student, child, learner and recipient of many graces and then we are able to bestow those grace lessons on others. Thank you Nikki!

    • Nikki
      December 10, 2012 | 11:01 am

      What a blessing–we never stop learning, growing closer. Thanks for reading my heart, Dawn! May you feel enveloped in His love this Season!

  6. Joy Wombles
    December 10, 2012 | 5:27 pm

    Nikki this was lovely and made me realize once again hos important it is for us to see the beauty of Christmas through the eyes of a child. I can just imagine your precious child looking up at the tree as you tell those wonderful old stories and seeing the light of Christ illuminating your Christmas as well as your lives. Love and hugs to you,

    • Nikki
      December 10, 2012 | 10:13 pm

      Oh that childlike faith. It makes everything more magical. just like He designed it all to be…
      Thanks for reading my heart, Joy. Trust you are savoring the moments of light this season, friend! Love and hugs to you!

  7. Charis
    December 11, 2012 | 1:45 am

    i love all the revelations you got while decorating the tree… i just love how God speaks to us when we have ears to hear. 🙂

    • Nikki
      December 12, 2012 | 2:46 pm

      He sure does pursue us, Charis. May we never stop seeing…hearing…seeking.

      Thank you for sharing with me!

  8. Michele-Lyn
    December 11, 2012 | 8:40 pm

    Your heart and life of worship is beautiful. The example and legacy you are leaving for your children is priceless.

    • Nikki
      December 12, 2012 | 2:46 pm

      My dear friend, I could say the same thing about you. In fact, I often do.

      May you get all wrapped up in the Wonder of His love for you this Season!