It was December 24th evening.
I went out into the cold air and wander through the empty streets. Large snowflakes began swiftly to fall and soon the ground of the entire town was covered in snow. As the white velvet carpet of snow was wrapping the streets up, the eight bells of St Jacques’ Church seemed really far now. A gale-force wind swirling the snow earlier in the afternoon had muffled the town in a deafening but delightful silence.
As the snow was falling heavily, my walk soon turned into a journey through a winter wonderland. "Tonight is such a magical night." I thought. I began to peek through the windows of houses; all cluttered up with twinkly lights. I could hear them all, gathering round their Christmas trees- magnificent Christmas trees, adorned with blazing lights, beautiful ornaments, baubles, bells, candies and singing tinsel.
As all pair of eyes were hypnotized by the magic of Christmas, my mind suddenly filled with trees - a veritable forest of evergreens and elms, sycamores and cypresses, oaks and maples- and one certain tree, our Christmas tree.
It always stood in a corner of the living room. The first year, when we moved in our new house, Curtis and I thought that was the best spot. A convenient reason at first… but then, it became a tradition to have it there.
Once boxes of decorations from past Christmases had been pulled out of hidden places in overstuffed closets and the dusty attic; we would always spent many hours decorating it. Cries of " OMG remember this one?" and "Didn't you make that little snowman?" and "Where's my little Canucks stick?" always took part of the event.
Curtis' soundtracks selection would flow from the stereo; and with the intoxicating scent of Christmas cookies I baked, would fill the air.
Gradually the tree would be transformed from a somewhat scraggly and slightly lopsided piece of greenery into a joyous symbol of Christmas. It was decorated from tip to floor with garlands, ornaments, lights, tinsel and a star shining down from the top... but most of all, with love. "Isn't it, one of the most beautiful Christmas tree?" I always asked. "No", Curtis always answered, "It's not the most beautiful Christmas tree... It's beyond!"
Suddenly I remembered I had to rush home: "Curtis might already be there waiting for me" I scolded myself. As I opened the door, my Fiance announced:
- This year, for many reasons, we could not afford a Christmas tree. I'm sorry huney.
- No Christmas tree?! :( It's ok... Maybe Christmas, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for someone else besides ourselves. We don't really need a Christmas tree.
- I love you huney. Gifts of love are surely what we need the most for a truly merry Christmas.
- I agree... I love you too.
That Eve, we did not have a Christmas tree. But the spirit of our previous Christmas trees filled the air with a song and wrapped itself about us like a shawl. It warmed our bodies, our hearts... with melody that would remain forever... and beyond.