Shannon here: Linda Wood Rondeau shares a Christmas memory adapted from, The Miracle Tree as seen in Christmas Moments, a short story collection. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of Joy comes to Dinsmore Street, A Father’s Prayer (aka A Christmas Prayer) or It Really IS a Wonderful Life. Deadline: Dec 27th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
The Tree that Love Saved by Linda Wood Rondeau
That year our friends started their You-Pick Christmas Tree enterprise. “Sounds like a good deal,” I told my husband. “Plus, we get to spend an afternoon with friends.”
Life is rarely that simple.
With temperatures in single digits, we sucked in courage and went to our friends’ country home. Kerry led the way into the woods then pointed up at the towering pines. “Don’t worry how high the tree is. Once it’s cut down, we’ll trim from the top.”
We traipsed the woods for over an hour. There it is! “That’s the tree I want!” I would have jumped for joy if the three feet of snow hadn’t pinned me down. Fully understanding of my deficient depth perception, my husband responded with uncertainty. “Are you absolutely sure?”
“As sure as when we got married.”
His objections silenced, Kerry chopped the tree down, shortening it at the spot I thought would work. Eying its long green needles, I imagined how beautiful it would look in just a few days.
My husband clicked with worry. “I doubt I can even get it on top of the car.” When my eyes filled with tears, he gave my hand a reassuring squeeze. “We’ll figure something out.” Half an hour later, exhausted but exhilarated, we dropped the tree by the station wagon. Our daughter gazed in wonder at the Goliath. “Even if we get it home, we won’t be able to get it into the house.”
Looking for a glimmer of hope, I found comfort in my husband’s solidarity. “You just let me worry about that.” Using every bungee cord in his toolbox, he secured the tree and ordered us to get into the car.
Seeds of doubt began to erode my joy.
When we arrived home, my husband took charge. “John, get my saw. If I lop off a few of these bottom branches and trim the trunk, it’ll slide through the door without taking off the hinges.”
An hour later, I brought my husband a warm cup of coffee. He took a sip and shook his head. “I love you,” he said. Translated, he meant, “You’re nuts, woman.”
Once, inside, he looked around. “Where is this twig going?”
I pointed to the dining room and quickly realized the tree was still three feet too tall.
My husband thrives on challenge. “John, get me the saw again. This is the tree your mother wanted. This is the tree we’ll have.”
After a few more adjustments, he hoisted it into the stand, and it toppled over. But my valiant knight secured the tree with yards of strong twine. Like a maniacal marionette without a puppeteer, it swallowed the entire dining room. Over the next few days, we adorned our misshapen treasure with lights and ornaments and ate our meals on TV trays.
On Christmas Eve, the miracle happened.
During Silent Night, suddenly all seemed miraculously calm and bright. With its broad branches, the tree exuded a halo affect, adding angelic chords to our rendition. We could almost see the shepherds as they knelt in wonder at the Savior’s birth. And in that moment, the meaning of Christmas burned in our hearts as never before. The ugliest tree I had ever seen transformed before our eyes, a beautiful emblem of love and hope.
It wouldn’t have happened without love. Without the sacrifice of a man who wanted to make the ugliest Christmas tree ever be the light of love in our humble home.
– Adapted from The Miracle Tree as seen in Christmas Moments –
About Linda: Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes blended contemporary fiction that speaks to the heart and offers hope to those with damaged lives. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida. Her most recent release, A Christmas Prayer, (aka A Father’s Prayer) was a finalist for both the 2014 Selah and Carol Awards.
Other books include: , It Really IS a Wonderful Life, Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street, Days of Vines and Roses and her non-fiction book, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children, also part of a compilation (Uplifting Devotionals).A sequel Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street, (Snow on Eagle Mountain) is expected to be released soon.
Learn more and connect: www.lindarondeau.com, http://lindarondeau.blogspot.com/, firstname.lastname@example.org, or find her on https://www.facebook.com/writerlindarondeau?ref=ts&fref=ts, https://twitter.com/lwrondeau, https://plus.google.com/107687194607537790658/posts and http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5352394.Linda_Wood_Rondeau.
About the book – Christmas Moments: Inspirational Stories of the True Meaning of Christmas Life is made up of moments strung together like a garland draped around a Christmas tree. Certain of those moments are so meaningful they become memories that last a lifetime. For some, those memories center on Christmas. In this book you’ll find Christmas stories from 34 authors. They range from serious to funny, sad to joyful, entertaining to insightful. All are encouraging and inspiring. Each points to the same thing: The reason for the Christmas season is celebration of Jesus’ birth! The most important part of Christmas is Christ. So while Christmas day comes but once and year, and years give us Christmas memories that last a lifetime, the Spirit of Christmas is eternal. And the way we keep Christmas sends a message to the world about what we believe.
Purchase Link: http://ow.ly/FotRt
Proceeds to benefit Samaritan’s Purse.
Question: Have you ever helped pack a shoebox or shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse?
Come back Dec 22nd for another Christmas memory from Linda!