The Christmas Tree

Photos by Steven Chamblee.

I was once a Christmas tree,
Put up proudly so all could see,
The joy of life and of the season,
They did not need another reason.

Decorations bright, how I did glisten!
And every night, how they would listen,
To choirs singing,
Just outside the parlor window,
To church bells ringing,
As the white-flecked wind blows,
Burying every troublesome thought under a blanket of snow.

I stood proud among celebrations,
With rich, warm foods and strong libations,
They would gather at my feet and sweetly hum,
A song just for me, “Oh, Tannenbaum.”

I did my best to shine for them,
And sparkle so divine for them,
With ornaments so fine for them
Reflected in the wine for them…

Then came the day they gathered round
And passed out presents, tightly bound,
With ribbons and bows of satin and lace,
And rich, warm joy adorned every face.

The little ones laughed, their parents smiled,
No better joy than a happy child!
There I was, standing straight and tall
So honored to be the center of it all.

Six days later, the air had changed,
The joy subsided; the room rearranged.
Stripped bare of my ornaments there,
Robbed of my pride and tossed outside,
Frozen there in the snow, feeling the cold wind blow.

Continued Below

A child peered out her window at me lying there,
She cried a few tears while she continued to stare.
“I cannot believe they just threw you away,
So soon after you helped us celebrate Christmas Day.”

As she looked down upon me with sadness and pity,
She knew there were many trees like me in this city.
Loved and honored, then thrown out like trash,
She pondered my fate behind her warm window sash.

Five minutes later, she stood next to me,
Trying to save this old Christmas tree.
She tenderly touched me and said she was sad
For choosing me to be cut down by her dad.

She said she was sorry that she had caused my fate
She wished I could live, but knew that it’s too late.

Her eyes flew wide open when I spoke to her there,
“Listen, my child, I’m so touched that you care.”

“Any child who believes, forever will be,
A part of the spirit of every Christmas tree.
Even when you grow old, and your hair has turned gray,
You will still remember these words that I say.

“Do not mourn me, for I will live on,
Long after the time that my branches are gone.
From Mother Earth I arose, and I will soon return there,
I grew up just to meet you, with hope that you’d care,
So deeply, so sweetly, for a tree such as me.

“I will return to you next year, as a different Christmas tree
Which you’ll decorate and love, just like you did with me.
Then you will give me back to the earth again.
Forever we’ll celebrate the seasons with your family and your friends.

“My spirit resides within you now,
So from this day you’ll start,
To live your life understanding that
I’m always within your heart.

“And if one day, many years from now,
You see your granddaughter talking to a tree.
You’ll know that someway, somehow,
That tree she’s talking to…is me!”


Just so you know…the Longview Arboretum & Nature Center is OPEN! Hours are 10am-5pm, Wednesday through Saturday; Sunday Noon-5pm. Come out and see us! Check out the progress on the Southern Living Garden and other areas of the Arboretum. Please observe social distancing at this time. And bring your own brand of Zen! 903-212-2181

I need a road trip! Let me know if you’d like me to come and speak to your group sometime. I’m low maintenance, flexible, and you know I like to go just about anywhere. No city too big; no town to small. Just send me an e-mail at and we’ll work something out.

Posted by Steven Chamblee
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