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Aaron Johnson: We cut the Christmas Tree today

We cut our Christmas tree today. 

Denise, my bride of 41 years, and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Springfields’ Christmas Tree farm. Even when we lived in Atlanta, we always made the trip back to Springfield’s to cut our tree. I always let our two children ride in the back of my old red Chevy, Fred. That was the only time they were allowed to ride on the tailgate and dangle their feet as I drove. 

Now, I’m not saying that I actually tried to throw them off, but at least once someone did in fact fall from the tailgate. When I was a kid, it was a rite of passage. Today it may be considered child endangerment. I think my father killed me a couple of times, but I’m not sure.

This time the trip was different. The trip was quiet. For the first time in 38 years, we cut the tree alone. It sounds odd to say we were alone, but together. 

That is how it felt. For the first time we had neither children nor grandchildren to share the experience. A few years ago, we had the whole family together for the annual event and even had pictures taken. I wonder if that will ever happen again.

Sometimes we take little things for granted until they are gone. Then we realize they were not little at all. Those little things were actually big things. Cutting the tree was a big thing to me back then. Maybe it is even bigger today.  

Denae, our daughter has left her raising and has an artificial tree. Pray for her.  \Jordan, our son, will probably roam the farm and find a sturdy cedar tree to cut. It is time for new traditions to begin. Those are big things.

The Christmas season is in full swing now.

Shopping centers have parking lots filled with cars. The checkout lines are all open taking people’s money as fast at they can hand it over. Radio stations are playing the sounds of Christmas.

Church choirs are rehearsing for the biggest show of the year. Children practice their parts as Mary, Joseph, or maybe an angel or wise man. Soon all these children will don bathrobes for tunics and towels for turbans and recite well memorized lines from Scripture. All these are big things.    

At Christmas we celebrate the biggest thing in history. I believe that an infinitely great and powerful God, the uncreated One, humbled Himself, and punctuated history by becoming a human. Not a powerful man of great stature; but a baby, born in the humblest of circumstances. That was a big thing.

Right now, Denise is doing one of the things she does best. She is making the home explode with Christmas. Before dark, every corner will proclaim the glory of the Christmas season. That is a big thing.

Statistics inform us that during the Holiday season the number of suicides increase. It is easy to see why. Each year we mark another year has passed and we are a year older. 

Each year brings the loss of some we love and new additions that we have come to love.  Christmas and New Year’s is a way of measuring the change that has taken place over the year. But the very message of Christmas is one of hope. That is a big thing.

My hope for you this Christmas season is that you enjoy the little things because they will soon be big; and that in the midst of the commercial Christmas you find the hope of the real Christmas. 

 That is the biggest thing.

Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. He is pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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