Christmas Trees: Low Expectations​ and High Vision

We tromped though the snow covered forest looking for the perfect tree.

This is a long standing Thanksgiving tradition in our family; the weekend after thanksgiving, we head to the hills and find ourselves a Christmas tree.

We decided to try out a new area. We had never been on a christmas tree hunt in this part of Idaho before, but we figured we would give it a try.

I don’t know if we had high expectations or low vision, but we really struggled to find ourselves a tree this year.

What is usually a pretty fast process for us turned into a rather lengthy ordeal.

Zac (my son) had found many “perfect trees” only to have Lance, (my husband) tell him they were too big.

Lance found many trees that looked good from a distance but once you got closer, the backside was missing most of its branches.

Mattiekay, she had forgotten her snow clothes at college, so she didn’t venture too far from the 4 wheeler, even though she is usually leading the pack.

Paige, recovering from a concussion, kept up with her brother for quite some time in the hunt until she needed a break.

And Summer, well we had brought along our little dog Shelley, and she spent most of her time worrying that Shelley was going to run away.

It was a different experience then usual for us this year, it took much longer and the tree we finally found was a little more “charlie brownish” then usual.

Once we got it home and put our traditional decorations on it, we saw its true beautiful.

Holidays can be tricky for most of us.

We have high expectations and often, low vision.

We see picture perfect scenes in the media (hello Hallmark movies:).

And the truth is, rarely does a holiday end up exactly how you want it it to be.

Perhaps you lost your temper with your husband. You burned your favorite cookies. You can’t find your daughters most wanted item on her Christmas list.

Perhaps you don’t get to have your children with you on Christmas this year. Maybe you and your mother have a strained relationship and you aren’t too excited about spending any time with her.

Or your new son in law is not your favorite person. You think he is too controlling of your daughter.

Maybe you forgot one of your children’s names on your christmas cards and you ended up having to cut everyone’s names off the bottom. (I may be speaking from experience. What mom does that?)

Just as every member of my family had a little hiccup in our traditional hunt, we eventually found a tree that was going to be beautiful in our home.

Don’t let your quest for the perfect holiday season blind you to the many beautiful trees that surround you.

There are things happening all around you that are amazing. But if you are closed minded, you won’t be able to see the forest through the trees.

Notice all the small and simple things.

The tree we finally found has a crooked tree trunk. My husband LOVED that it had some character.

It also has some moss growing on the tree limbs. At first glance, it made it look old and dead, but to my eyes, I loved the reality of the forest that it brought into our home. This tree has really lived through the elements.

So too are each of us. We have really lived through the elements of life and that is going to make each one of our Christmas’s unique. We can’t look to anyone else to show us what our celebration should look like. If you do, you will miss out on what makes your celebration special and unique.

That is where the true beauty lies; not in our sameness, but in our differences.

This year lower your expectations and have high vision. Keep your eyes open to all the good that comes from every single circumstance that comes up.

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