The Symbols of the Christmas Tree-Past and Present

Dear Reader:

What a happy surprise I had yesterday! I was piddling around trying to decide where to start with the Christmas decorations…and I had a text from Luke. He had picked me up a Christmas tree and was on the way over!

I had asked him earlier if he might be able to help me again this year with picking out a tree. (Last year my foot was still up in the air…literally! Luke picked out a beautiful tree for me and put it up.)

He replied…”Sure…no problem.” And suddenly there he was…the most perfect Christmas Tree- a Fraser Fir. Just the perfect size (6′) to stand on the long wooden coffee table…giving Ruthie, the rag doll angel, enough room to look down on all of us once again!

When we finished getting the lights on (We beat some kind of record getting the tree up and the lights on- half an hour…can you believe it- every strand worked the first time out?)…A true Christmas Miracle! 🙂


I so badly wanted to send the picture of the tree with Ruthie on top… to Gloria Houston, the author of The Perfect Christmas Tree, like I had done for so many years in the past.  *I still find it hard to realize Gloria died three years ago from a rare cancer. I miss her texts, emails, and letters so.

Still, as long as, Ruthie, the angel, presides over my Christmas…all is right with the world and Gloria and her wonderful stories are never far away. They still bring joy to every girl and boy…and adult!

Tree: As Luke brought the tree in… with all the outdoorsy smell of the woods…I stood there for a few minutes just marveling at its beauty before we placed Ruthie on top. What is it about a tree that makes us feel so happy and peaceful simultaneously?

I thought about it a few moments and came to this conclusion…it brings back symbols of the ‘Tree of Life’ and how the world came into being with God beaming down. It also represents the family tree and tradition. Traditions are stories handed down by family from one generation to another. The Christmas tree begs for stories to be told around it of the family past and the family present on the holidays through memory stories.

Lights: Like I mentioned earlier… every single strand of lights came on and not one was tangled…unbelievable! Luke, the cutest elf around, got up at the top and I grabbed the cords and we were finished in mere minutes… amid my excited applause.

Instead of just throwing on decorations this year…I have decided to wait and just enjoy the tree and lights for awhile. The simplicity of the tree with white fairy lights makes the Happy Room appear magical. These are the lights of happiness that one day will lead me home..amid twinkling stars. Lights are our path finders in life.

Ornaments: As soon as I break down and start putting ornaments on the tree…the personality of the tree changes and allows my personality to shine through choices of my favorite ornaments, photos, and memories that I wish to share with viewers. A lifetime of memories and adventures denoted on the branches of the Christmas tree….my latest, of course, are my Maine moose. Thanks again Sherry!

Gifts: The idea of gifts, of course, began with The Christmas Story and still thrives in today’s modern world. Every year as I get older… my idea of a gift changes…giving gifts to family and friends make me happy…but the only gifts I enjoy are ‘time‘ gifts when family and friends take time off during the busy Christmas season to be together…those are the very best gifts of all!

Another lesson age is teaching me…is about waiting time. When we are stuck in a situation…like the traffic line I was in about 5:30 yesterday afternoon…the immobilization allowed me to take this photo of the most beautiful ending to a wonderful day. What a gift waiting time gave me!

So until tomorrow…as I pulled into my driveway…for the first time in the Christmas season I got to see my tree and lights and Ruthie as I climbed out of my car…my home was transformed…It looked cozy and magical all  at the same time.


“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Please keep Hailey, Libby’s granddaughter, in your prayers today. She is having surgery on a broken ankle…screws put in to hold it…the healing process will take a minimum of two to three months. *Hailey dances with a traveling dance company, loves it, and is so sad she will miss this season…but our hope is her ankle will be 100% well when she returns. Thank you.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Symbols of the Christmas Tree-Past and Present

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Your tree is beautiful. Like you I love the white lights. It is hard to believe that Gloria Houston is gone. Her book is still one of my favorite stories of a Christmas long ago.


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Love your tree. I joined the deserters a long time ago and started putting up an artificial tree, but it is beautiful with all the white lights and ornaments which each brings back some memory of years gone by. I will have to say that I do miss the smell of that fresh tree. Your Luke is really special. Everyone needs a Luke. We had our first Advent service last night. The theme this year, which should be every year, is waiting. Our Pastors are so creative and just plain wonderful. Last night in the Fellowship Hall, we sang, had a homily, communion, and an activity which suggested praying while we wait. On each table was a newspaper and pens. We were asked to circle things in the newspaper and write a short prayer for that person or situation. Interesting to see how many things we need to pray about or how many people we need to pray for every day.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      What a creative idea Jo! Your pastors are, not only “creative but just plain wonderful.” So many prayers are needed, especially around the holidays…it is so easy to get caught up with our gift list…that we forget those who have no list, no home, no Christmas unless we help give it to them.


  3. bcparkison says:

    Lights and light from a cozy fire..wonderful. Prayers for Hailey.


  4. Ashish Andrew Daud says:

    Hello Ma’am,
    Loved your decorations and writings of yours.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you Ashish…how very kind to pause in all the December activity and pay a compliment…you made my day. I appreciate your support! Merry Christmas! Warmly, Becky


  5. Rujuta says:

    That’s such a wonderful post!
    I simply love the idea of time gifts 🙂 and waiting time as well! So many things can be enjoyed just with a change in the perspective..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.