Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com where they’ll find a list of her books, her blog, Snark and Sensibility. Email her at email@example.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.
That year we opted for a more “home grown” experience for the children. As fate would have it, our friends started their You-Pick Christmas Tree enterprise. “Sounds like a good deal,” I told my husband. “Plus, we get to spend an afternoon with friends.”
Life is rarely that simple.
With temperatures in single digits, we sucked in courage and went to our friends’ country home. Kerry led the way into the woods then pointed up at the towering pines. “Don’t worry how high the tree is. Once it’s cut down, we’ll trim from the top.”
We traipsed the woods for over an hour. There it is! “That’s the tree I want!”
Fully understanding of my deficient depth perception, my husband responded with uncertainty. “Are you absolutely sure?”
“As sure as when we got married.”
Kerry cut the tree at the length I suggested.
Eyeing its long green needles, I imagined how beautiful it would look in just a few days.
My husband clicked with worry. “I doubt I can even get it on top of the car.” When my eyes filled with tears, he gave my hand a reassuring squeeze. “We’ll figure something out.” Half an hour later, exhausted but exhilarated, we dropped the tree by the station wagon.
Hubs secured the tree and we drove home. But we couldn’t get it through the door.
Seeds of doubt eroded my joy.
Hubs quickly took charge. A few hacks here and there, and he managed to squeeze the tree in without taking the door off. The next hurdle would be fitting it in the dining room, since the tree stood eight feet and our ceiling height was six. Not to mention the eight foot span on the tree branches couldn’t squeeze into our five foot dining room.
My eyes welled.
My husband thrives on challenge. “John, get me the saw again. This is the tree your mother wanted. This is the tree we’ll have.”
After a few more adjustments, he hoisted it into the stand, and it toppled over. My valiant knight secured the tree with yards of strong twine. Like a maniacal marionette without a puppeteer, it swallowed the entire dining room. Over the next few days, we adorned our misshapen treasure with lights and ornaments and ate our meals on TV trays in the living room while we stared at the ugly thing that had usurped our lives.
On Christmas Eve, the miracle happened.
We piled the gifts under the monster while our daughter scanned the tree with interest. “Can we sing Christmas carols?”
My husband nodded and grabbed the guitar while Edie turned off the house lights.
During Silent Night, suddenly all seemed miraculously calm and bright. A strange halo affect surrounded the excuse for a tree as if God smiled down on our attempts and delighted us with His presence. And in that moment, the meaning of Christmas burned in our hearts as never before. The ugliest tree I had ever seen transformed before our eyes, a beautiful emblem of love and hope.
About the book:
“Christmas is a time for miracles,” Ryan McDougal tells his mother, when he is told that a long lost cousin, Millie, has resurfaced after nearly forty years, the cousin whose picture his mother clasped the day his father abandoned him. Though they occurred decades apart, he always believed the two disappearances were connected like opposite links of a chain. With Millie’s arrival, perhaps he might finally receive the answers he so desperately sought. However, Ryan has a third thorn in his side, more devastating than any mystery. His wife, the love of his life, has left his arms and his bed. How long before she moves out of the house and takes his beloved son with her? He prays for his own Christmas miracle. Millie’s anticipated visit prompts Ryan’s mother to reveal secrets that bring all to light. However, when past and present collide, the truth is more than Ryan can bear.
Buy the book here:
Have you ever had a miracle in your life?