Friday, December 3, 2010

My Rockefeller Christmas Tree

This Wednesday, December 1st, the famous Rockefeller Center Tree was lit in New York City. I have never had the pleasure of visiting NYC, but I can only imagine how beautiful this tree must be in person. The lighting of that tree kind of marks the beginning of the holiday in a way and I always enjoy seeing pictures of it.

A few weeks back one of my favorite segments came on the Today Show - the story of where The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree comes from. I always love catching this story each year and this one was no different. There is always a family, a community, a group of neighbors that the tree has touched and this year it was a young family in a rural New York town. As I watched the children swing and play on the property where this magestic beauty lived I was reminded of my own Rockefeller tree back home in South Alabama.

Growing up we spent much of our time outdoors - playing house, store, picking flowers, riding bikes, imagining all sorts of wonderful things. I had a very rich childhood, one with many wonderful memories and traditions. Some of those warm memories came from the play my sisters and brother had underneath a very tall evergreen in the corner of our yard. Before the gocart and playhouse, there was this old tree. We swept out the brush from under its branches, made "rooms" around the roots that were sticking out of the ground and played house for hours with each other, our friends, or our babydolls. We had a glorious time.

That evergreen is still in our old yard today - I do believe. I doubt it gets much playtime anymore, but I will always have fond memories of that tree.

As I watched the family playing around their own evergreen I was almost saddened at their loss. Their tree will go on to grace us all this Christmas, later be recycled and used in Habitat homes, but it will no longer afford those children their place of play. I am thankful that my sweet evergreen was around for all my years of childhood - even if it never graced the beauty of Rockefeller Center.

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