Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Blessed Surprise

We have always had a Christmas tree for the season, in both prosperous and lean years.  We could always look back at the pictures of our trees to know which year was it.  This year, however, ever since we knew of the laid off date we had been scaled way back in all our spending. 

I told the children that we may choose not to have a tree this year.  The children were sadden but nodded with understanding.

We all know what the true meaning of Christmas is and while we want to celebrate it with some tangible means, we are careful to see where we should put the budget toward in the celebration. 

Since I did not feel like decorating the house this year, Joshua decided to pull out the decoration and strung up the lights so our home would look festive.  It worked.  Peter LOVES the lights!  Then when Joshua pulled out all his Nutcrackers, he started telling me all of the memories he had with each one of them when he received them.  The home seemed to look cheerful enough but we all know there is something missing, but we were all quiet about it.

Then there was a purchase request of the flower bands I made for Christine on her birthday party.  I decided to do it and contributed the earning toward a tree for the kids as my Christmas gift for them.  I did not grow up with a Christmas tree so the effect of the absent tree was not as huge on me.  However, since it is a German tradition and my children are a quarter of German, and they DID grow up always having a tree around Christmas time, they MISSED having a tree around.

The price of the tree we want was outrageous.  So we just sat on my "contribution" and could not bring ourselves to get one.  Twentieth days into December, as we were hanging the Christmas cards we received from friends on the wall, we opened this one card with no return address and no signature - just a Christmas card and cash in it!  We were all so surprised and tried to guess who might it be by looking at the hand writing (we still can't figure it out, but that is not the point).  We were so humbled by this gesture of love from whomever the sender was.

Unbeknown to me, Robert called around the tree lots and found a place where they are selling the 6-7 foot tree for half price.  When I arrived home from running an errand, there it was, a live Christmas tree in the garage!  Christine and Joshua knew about it.  The blessed surprise was on me and Peter!

I know one day when I look back at this year's tree picture, I would know we had a prosperous one - the richness of love and caring from our friends and family, during this adjusting time in our lives.

Praise be to God!

The kids had a great time decorating this tree.  It has a slight brown spot on the back, but the truth is, I have a new found appreciation of a "not so perfect" tree as it is so "loved" by all of us.  Just as the fact that we are all sinners but SO LOVED by God that He sent His only begotten Son to come and saved us.  Now that's the true meaning of Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. It's so amazing to hear how God provided a tree!

Our Lives said...

Isn't He wonderful? He supplied all our needs and sometimes even the wants. Merry Christmas, Carrie!

Sarah said...

Surprise blessings are wonderful! We got a Christmas card in the mail this year as well, also with money inside signed "from us". Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! God bless you all in 2011!