Sunday, December 13, 2015

Nick Joies | Spread the Christmas Joy

But She Remembered

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s not just the joy and the kindness we seem to adapt at Christmastime more than any other time of the year. It’s also a time of traditions and memories that remind me of love. My favorite memory comes right from a movie, and, in fact is partly why I love this movie.

When we lived back east as a young married couple, long before children and all the great memories and traditions they have brought, my husband and I lived down the street from a shopping area. At the end of the parking lot, there was always a tree lot. No tent. No fancy sign. No kids earning money for their baseball or football team. Just trees in a lot with old-fashioned bulb lights strung up in a square. I don’t even think there was a fence around them.

We would pass by as we walked to the store and look at the trees freed from the twine that held them together. We’d pick out ones we liked for whatever reason. Our favorites were almost always Frasier firs. They were thing and full and even smelled like Christmas. But we didn’t buy one.

We waited. We waited until a night when snowflakes began to fall. The beginning of the snowfall that would inevitably blanket the city for Christmas was usually just a few days or sometimes a week after Thanksgiving.

That’s when we went. We didn’t get in the car and drive to the lot, ready to tie it to the roof of our car as seen in so many movies. We walked. We put on our coats, our scarves and our gloves – mittens for me – and we walked down the road towards the glowing bulbs, the heat melting the snowflakes before they could dim the light.

I don’t remember much about the actual trees except the type. Sometimes they were tall. Sometimes smaller. Most were full but not too big. Each tree seemed special when we picked them but I can’t remember even one now that stood out amongst the rest.

What I remember was the journey. We’d each take an end. I got the top. My husband took the trunk. He bore the brunt of the weight but it didn’t matter. We walked our tree home reminiscent of a scene from When Harry Met Sally, snow freshly falling – just covering the grass and treetops.

Hot chocolate and marshmallows followed as we curled up under a blanket on the couch as we let the tree settle into its stand for the night.

It’s one of the reasons I love When Harry Met Sally, as well as trips to the City with my daughter. Corners really do become tree lots for those in the City. It’s also one of the reasons I miss winter. This is one Christmas tradition we haven’t be able to hand down. Still, I am reminded of the important one. The one where Mary after she gave birth to the Christ the savior and heard of the amazing things the angel had told them – things she already knew but were told to her through new eyes. Her response makes sense to me.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. – Luke 2:19

I imagine there was joy. Relief Joseph stood by her. Love for her child and savior and so much more. And while I can’t remember the trees from Christmases past, I won’t ever forget the feelings of love and joy. Merry Christmas.
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A Frasier Bronze Medalist and Rattler and Splickety Finalist, Nick Joies writes contemporary and Biblical fiction with a touch of romance, as well as Christian living, Bible studies and devotionals. Her books and other writing can be found at www.nickjoies.com where she writes about dreaming out loud.