When there is no tree….

Thirty five years ago, hubby and I were living in Japan.  We were waiting the arrival of our first child.  We were excited beyond words during that  time.
We were living in government quarters on an abandoned WWII Japanese airstrip.  The housing area was situated along two very long, wide roads which once were the runways for the Japanese planes.  Our house was situated at the end of the runways, the half circle area where the planes taxi from one strip to the other.  It was a beautiful place, as we had no neighbors, except the other side of our duplex.  There was a big open field in front of our house and looking out past the field, some farmlands and the bay that was below our area, was a magnificent view of Mt Fuji.  We were able to see this view from our living room and bedroom.  It is a view I will never forget.

The duplex we lived in was small.  It was a one bedroom unit.  We had a dining room where we usually put our Christmas tree.  That Christmas, 35 years ago we had no room in our dining room.  We had divided our dining room in half to make room for a crib and changing table.  It was crowded but cozy.   We decided to forgo all Christmas decorations, except for our nativity set.

We also decided to not exchange gifts, as we knew we would need money for the baby.  We were content with this decision.

A part of us missed the planning and shopping though.  I wondered how we would feel on Christmas day without the flourishes that go with the day.

What I found out is this….  and a part of the story of the Grinch confirms this to me.  When the day dawned, it was still Christmas.  There was something in the air that spoke Christmas.  The air is different on Christmas day.  It is special.  I don’t know what it is, but it is a holy mixture of awe, faith, giving, sprinkled with pine scent and candy canes.  At least that is how I see it.  It is like the Grinch who discovered that although he took everything away from the Who’s, they still celebrated.  They sang and they rejoiced, even in nothing.  This made the Grinch’s heart grow, and he obviously returned everything.

In the passing of these 35 years, I often remember that Christmas where there were no outward signs of Christmas in our house.  I remember that the decorations are nice, the presents are nice, but the true gift of Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth.  We have tried through the years to do something for someone else during the holidays.  Most of the time, it was just having someone over to share our meal.  This is a small gesture, but sometimes those are the moments that scream the loudest.

Today, I was able to have several outpourings of love given to me.  All have made me realize the love that is in the hearts of people.  My heart is glad and I am blessed.  I hope that this season you will be able to recognize the special scent in the air and experience an unexpected gift of love.  Thanks for stopping by.  DAF


Published by marycatherinethomas

M. Catherine Thomas is a published writer, speaker and teacher. Mother of two and grandmother..

One thought on “When there is no tree….

  1. Reblogged this on Donna's Family Life and commented:
    Yes! There is a spirit of Christmas, no matter if you decorate, cook, or celebrate. There is still something special about Christmas Day! I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I did…

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