From the time my two boys were old enough to understand I have shared this revelation with them. Each year we head out to find our talking Christmas tree. For most of those years we have been successful in finding them at Helen and Ed's Tree Farm about a 30 minute drive from where we live.
Besides my love and compassion for people, I have always felt a connection to the world around me. Without sounding too metaphysical I simply believe that we are connected to everything by the energy we share.
As we search for that special tree each year, we wander around acres of farm land listening intensely for the voice. Oh, it's not a audible voice and I can't see the branches move like the "singing" trees that are so popular in department stores. But I feel a calling, a connection that pulls me in the direction of just the right tree. I'll admit that it sometimes takes a long time to connect. You see we get caught up in the beauty of the scenery and the wonder of the conversation uninterrupted by phone calls. We normally cover most of the property before we get serious enough to really focus on our mission.
If it doesn't sound silly enough to you already, I don't like to make disparaging comments to trees we find whose struggle to grow has left them a few branches short or "balding" in spots. I honestly tell them to "keep trying, maybe next year."
But it's like everything else in life. What I don't see as the perfect tree someone else may be overwhelmed by it's beauty. This explains why my wife chose to marry me. Perhaps she picked me as her "Charlie Brown Tree". You know the one from the Peanuts story that everyone made fun of until it found it's proper place in their hearts.
We continue our search until suddenly I connect, in that very special moment, with a tree I am sure we passed by a dozen times in previous years. I feel a oneness with a living, breathing pine tree created by God and nurtured by mankind.
There is an aura about it. I touch it, smell it and circle it in a ritual dance. I don't really dance. But my spirit tells me "this is the one!"
Twice, in proper ceremony, I have permitted my sons to come of age as I handed them the saw used only for Christmas Tree harvesting. My oldest now takes his wife there to talk to the trees each Christmas.
After the official tree trimming at home and my wife has gone to bed, I take a moment to welcome the newest memory maker to our home. And on the last night just before I turn the lights off on our tree I say "thank you" with a hug and with a deep sigh I unplug the lights for the final time.
I'll tell you the truth. I always struggled with cutting down a live tree until one day I was told this story:
On that final night when the celebration of Christ's Birth has come to a close a meeting is held in heaven to plan for next year's festivities. A manger display, unlike anything seen here on earth is erected each year. The official Christmas tree must be chosen one year in advance to assure proper placement next to the manger. The tree that is selected from the millions that adorned the homes here on earth is the one that was loved and appreciated the most. That one and only one takes it's place in heaven. Others serve as a plush backdrop in this glorious scene.I believe that my trees have certainly held that prestigious position several times. No one, but no one loves their tree as much as I. At least few will admit it.
So my friends there it is. Yes, my Christmas tree talks to me and I to it.
I figure that's okay. God created both of us and I talk to God and He talks to me all the time.