One of the saddest sights to see is dead Christmas trees abandoned on the side of the road. Last year, when I was finally able to leave my room and go out to explore after ten days in quarantine, dead Christmas trees were one of the first sights to greet me. No longer standing upright and no longer full of bright lights and colourful baubles, they looked lonely and dejected in their nakedness. It’s a very depressing thing to see.
The thing that’s depressing about their fall from grace is that for all of December, or maybe longer, we cherish Christmas trees. We adorn their branches with tinsel, and lights, and decorations. We place them in our windows and enjoy their presence and smell every chance we can get. There’s a whole song dedicated to the beauty of Christmas trees and we probably sing along whenever it comes on.
But when Christmas is over, so many of us are quick to rid the tree of its decorations and toss it out the door and into the cold. It seems mean and unfair, especially when next year and every year after that, Christmas trees will be back in people’s windows, full of glitter and magic and everything bright. Our love for them is an illusion, maybe. We love them when they’re useful to us and discard them when they’ve served their purpose.
The Christmas tree doesn’t hold a grudge though. Each year it lets us chop it down and it shines in our windows anyway, playing its part in the creation of festive cheer. And maybe that’s the real magic of Christmas and love and life: giving without expecting anything in return and shining brightly no matter how many times you’re cast aside.