Sunday, December 09, 2007

Beginning to look like Christmas

Our family has been on a journey the past four years. A journey of faith and heart ache. A journey of gain and loss. A journey of lost dreams and future vision. We have been asking ourselves, "What does it mean to live Jesus in our culture?", "What does it mean to be a Christian family in the place God has placed us?" It has been at times a difficult transition, but a blessed journey.

One of the BIGGIES of family transition has been in the area of social justice or mercy and compassion. For us, it has meant a change in our spending habits. We question how and why we spend what we do. That leads to asking where you will spend. We desire to bless our community and God's world with our commerce. We now spend much more locally, many times with micro farmers or small business folks. To keep the money in the community where God has placed us.

This year, it meant looking at how we would spend our money for a Christmas tree. We could have bought a tree from one of the local tree lots. The Boy Scouts and the Optimist Club both have lots locally. The money DOES benefit these organizations, but the bulk of the monies leave here and go west to the counties in western North Carolina.

Yesterday, we were ready to go to a local tree farm, owned by a native county family.
They have invested much in planting evergreens that grow well here and make great Christmas trees. You go on their land, find a tree and they cut it down and load it on the truck for you. It would have been great and benefited the family. But, the tree would die and end up on a burn pile on the farm.

I have grown tired of this. I began to look for a new way. I than remembered that a fellow beekeeper and friend owns and operates a tree nursery down the road from our home. An epiphany! Why not buy a potted tree and plant it after Christmas? That is what we did.

If you drive by our home the first of the year you will see a five foot Thuja Green Giant planted in our yard. It will grow three feet per year until it reaches 30-60 feet high. A new tradition has now been added to our holiday list. Each December, we will go as a family to Backyard Plantation and buy a new tree to enjoy over Christmas. We will than plant it in the yard, where it can grow and tell the stories of Christmas past.

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