“It’s snowing! It’s snowing! Do you see?” The Little Tree looked around to see if everyone could see. But, no one answered. Could they not hear him? He spoke louder. “IT’S SNOWING EVERYONE! EVERYONE IT’S SNOWING!”|
“Shh! Little One, you will wake Him up. He is over there, snoozing, and will not like it if you wake Him.”
“He already has, “boomed a deep, loud voice. “Now, what is all this noise about snow?”
The Little Tree did not know what to say. He looked around but no one said anything. Well, afterall, it was he who had woken the Old One; it was only fair that he say so.
“Excuse me, Old One, but it was me. I mean, I woke you. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, but, it’s snowing. Finally, it’s snowing and it’s so exciting. Well, I just had to tell everyone.”
“Snowing? Well, “the Old One laughed. The Little Tree did not know what he was allowed to say, so he waited for the Old One to continue.
“Snowing you say. Well, so it is. Is this the first time you have ever seen snow?”
“No, not exactly. I mean, no it isn’t. I was here last year when it snowed, and that was my first time then. But, still it’s so pretty and all, it feels as exciting as the first time. Don’t you feel excited about the first snow every year, Old One?”
The Old One smiled to himself and remembered his very first snow. Yes, first snows were special. “Well,” he began, “I remember my very first snow and back then, it was exciting alright. But now, well, can’t really say it excites me anymore. No, can’t really say that.”
“Oh. But, why?” Before he realized it, the Little Tree was questioning the Old One. He wasn’t even sure that you were allowed to question the Old One, but, well it was done now. He continued, “I mean, excuse me Old One, but why isn’t snow exciting for you now?”
In his excitement, the Little Tree hadn’t noticed that the Old One had gone quiet. He continued on, not waiting for the Old One to answer his question. “Because if you watch the snow as it falls, it almost seems to dance to the ground. It floats in the air and sails everywhere. It is so beautiful and yet so cold. When it lands on me it just rests there, like someone resting after a long journey. Oh, I just love the snow! I watch each flake as it falls and when it lands on me, I try to imagine where it came from and what it must be like to journey through the air like that. And then, “the Little Tree was running out of breath.
“Slow down Little One. It is easier to tell a story if you stop for a breath once in a while.” The Old One grew quiet and thought to himself. Was it too soon to spoil this Little Tree’s excitement over the first snow? Was it too soon to speak of the Christmas Hunt? How he wished it was not up to him to speak of it. But, alas, it was. The Old One smiled down on the Little Tree. He was so young, and so excited about the snow. A sad thought crossed the Old One’s mind; I hope this Little One is missed in this year’s Christmas Hunt. It was hard to watch the young ones go, year after year.
Before the Little Tree could speak again, the Old One began to talk. “Snow means many things here in forest, Little One. Many things to many people.”
“People?” questioned the Little Tree. “What are people?”
The Old One smiled. Each year the same questions, and each year the same answers. “People, or men, are other beings. Beings that are not trees like you and I. They are still alive but look different from us.” The Old One grew quiet again. The time had, indeed, come.
“Snow means a special time for the men from the village too. You will see them soon, Little One. Men are beings different from us. They come into the forest soon after the first snow, and look for one of us to take with them. They call us “Christmas Trees” and each year they take one of us with them to be their “Christmas Tree”. It is a very special honour, for they only take the most perfect ones. They choose very carefully.” Before the Old One could explain further, sounds could be heard from down the hill.
“Over here, Dad, over here! There are some good ones over here, on this hill.”
The Little Tree had never heard these sounds before, and really didn’t know what to think. “What is that?” he asked the Old One. “What is that noise?”
“The men from the village are here, little one.” The Christmas Hunt was on! “Now, let’s be quiet everyone, the men from the village are here. Be quiet now, Little One, and let’s hope they pass by quickly. We can talk again later,” he hoped, “but for now, simply be quiet.”
The Little Tree wondered and was again filled with ideas and questions, but the wonder of these new creatures made it easy to be quiet and just watch.
“Here, look Dad. This one is perfect! It is just a little bigger than me. Dad, look! Can we have this one Dad, can we, eh?”
“Well, it does seem to be the right size. All the others are really much too large. So, yes Tommy, I think we have found our Christmas Tree!”
The Little Tree was standing tall and feeling wonderful, afterall, they were talking about him! They were admiring him! They were looking at him!
Chop, chop, chop. The Little Tree felt sort of a banging on his trunk. It didn’t hurt really, but it wasn’t nice like when the bears rubbed up against him to scratch their backs. This was different somehow. He was feeling wobbly, almost dizzy. It was a feeling he had never had before and then suddenly, Crash!
The Little Tree was lying down on the snow. He didn’t know how it happened, but he was no longer standing straight and tall. He had fallen?! No, he could not have fallen over. But, somehow, he was on the ground.
“Old One, Old One, help me! I’m on the ground and I don’t know why. What shall I do?”
The Old One did not know what to tell the Little One about being a “Christmas Tree”. He had never been one, and did not know what even happened to the Christmas Trees from before. He had to speak quickly, before they took the Little One away. “Now, Little One, listen to me. Be Brave! You have been chosen to be this year’s Christmas Tree. Be Brave for it is quite an honour. Be Brave now and …” Before he could finish the men began to drag the Little Tree away.
Above him, the Little Tree could see the blue sky. As they passed the Old One, he looked up and saw that the Old One was upside down and he could see holes in between his branches. He could see up inside the Old One, underneath his branches. It was something he had never seen before. Before he could let out a sound, he was dragged further on. The snow was gathering inside his branches and he could feel the cold iciness of it, deep inside. He had never felt the snow like this before. Snow had never gotten inside of him before. He didn’t think that he liked it.
The Old One sighed, as the Little Tree was dragged out of sight. Each year someone went. This year it was this Little One’s turn. He wondered to himself; whatever became of the one’s that were taken before? Would he ever know?
The Little Tree was bumped along the ground. The man were carrying his trunk and dragging the rest of him along the snow. As the Little Tree looked back, he could see all the other trees. They were getting smaller and smaller. Where were they going? Where were they taking him? What would happen now?
He started to get scared; he did not want to leave all the others. But then he remembered the Old One’s last words, “Little One, be brave! It is an honour…” So, he decided that if he was to be this year’s Christmas Tree, he would be a brave Little Christmas Tree. He took a deep breath and already began to feel braver. He started to listen to the men talking and tried to figure out exactly where he was going. Where was Christmas anyway?
“Gee Dad, wait until Mom sees. This is the best Christmas Tree ever. It is just the right size. It will fit perfectly in the corner. I can’t wait to see it all decorated. I just can’t wait! Can we hurry, Dad? Can’t we hurry?”
“Now, Tommy, this tree may look only a little bigger than you, but believe me it is heavier than you. I’m moving as fast as I can. Help me drag it and maybe we can get there faster.”
A little while later, the Little Tree was standing upright again.
“Aw Dad, can’t we bring it in the house now. Dad, why do we have to wait?”
“Because Tommy, we have to let all the ice and snow fall off it first. We will bring it in after supper and decorate it. Now, come on Mom needs us, she has chores waiting. Let’s go.”
Before going inside, Tommy walked over to the Little Tree. “You are really beautiful and you will be our best Christmas Tree ever. I’m glad we found you. See you later.”
Before the Little Tree could even answer, the little man called Tommy ran away. The Little Tree was left alone again. He began to look around to try and see where he was. He still felt Ok, but he was starting to get tired.
As he looked around, the Little Tree saw that he was on a bank of snow in the middle of some very large, square blocks. He had never seen anything like it before. Tommy, the little man, had gone inside one of the large, square blocks. They had holes in them, and it looked like Mr. Sun was inside them, because they were bright inside. As he looked around some more, he saw that dog, that dog he had met before.
His mind filled with the memory of the first time he met that dog. It had come up to his trunk and sniffed and then, suddenly, without reason, the Little Tree had felt wetness on his trunk. He remembered that he had looked up into the sky for clouds, to see if it had begun to rain, for that was the only time he ever felt such wetness. The Little Tree smiled as he remembered the Old One laughing, while explaining that this creature was a dog, a being that lived near the forest. He explained that the dog meant no harm, that the wetness was just a greeting from him.
The Little Tree began to feel lonely for the Old One and the others from the forest. He had never been alone before. The day wore on as the Little Tree explored as much of the farm as he could see from where he was now standing. Soon, it began to grow dark.
Tommy and the other man called Dad came back out of the square block. They picked up the Little Tree and carried him inside. The Little Tree was shocked by all that he could see around him. The men quickly put him into a stand and filled it with water. This Little Tree was thankful for the water. It did not feel like the ground he was used to standing in, but the tiredness was leaving him now, the water refreshed him. He felt as good as new again.
The Little Tree was then placed carefully in the corner of the room. Everyone stood in front of him and admired how beautiful he was. The Old One was right, thought the Little Tree, it is an honour to be the Christmas Tree for the men from the village. There were four of the men now. They all looked different. There was the little man, Tommy; the big man, Dad and then two others, one little and one big. They were very different from one another, much the way the trees in the forest were different from one another; each was a different shape, a different colour and all different sizes.
The Little Christmas Tree, for that was how he now saw himself, could feel the men gather around him. One by one, they came up and pinned things on his branches. The things were not heavy. In fact, they were light and different, something like the snowflakes he used to wear in the forest. Each time something new was placed on his branches, someone stood back and admired him even more. Eventually, all the things were placed, for everyone stood back and commented on how beautiful the Little Christmas Tree looked.
“Oh, Dad, “Tommy said, “The lights sparkle and the tinsel is so pretty, this is really the best tree ever”.
After a time, the men gathered again in front of the Little Christmas Tree and held hands. The Little Christmas Tree could hear a lovely sound, but didn’t know what it was.
“Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright …”
These beautiful sounds reminded the Little Christmas Tree of the birds singing as they sat in his branches. Once again, he became lonely for the forest and his friends. The Little Christmas Tree quietly listened. After the beautiful sounds were finished, one by one, the men left the room. Just before the last man left, darkness instantly filled the room. The Little Christmas Tree did not understand how the darkness could come so fast, for in the forest it took Mr. Sun much longer to get home.
The room was all dark and the men had left. The Little Christmas Tree was alone once again. All was becoming very quiet, not like the forest in the dark. Here it was strangely quiet, but since the darkness had come, the Little Christmas Tree thought that maybe it was time to rest.
But the darkness was not complete. There was a soft kind of a glow all around him. Then he realized that this glow seemed to be coming from him. As the Little Christmas Tree looked down, he was amazed at what he saw. All of his branches were covered in beautiful, sparkling stars. At least, that was what they looked like to him. He had never seen anything like it before, except in the dark night sky.
Stars! The men from the village had covered him in stars, stars from the sky! It truly was a great honour to be chosen as the Christmas Tree by the men of the village. The Little Christmas Tree was so proud. This was even better than being covered in snowflakes. He wished all of his friends could see him, sparkling so. But, they never would, would they? Quietly, and a little sadly, the Little Christmas Tree fell off to sleep. His dreams were filled with stars and snow and great adventures.
The next morning, Tommy was the first one downstairs. “He’s been here! Santa has been here! Everyone, come, hurry, Christmas is here!”
The whole family came running down the stairs and found the room filled with presents and trinkets left by Santa Claus. In all this noise, the Little Christmas Tree remained silent; silent because the Little Christmas Tree was no longer there.
“But, Santa Claus, won’t the men from the village miss me?” The Little Christmas Tree asked. “They will expect to see me in their place, where they left me, won’t they?”
“Ho, Ho, Ho, “Santa laughed. “Now, Little One, part of you is still there; the part that they need. But, the important part of you is now here, with me. I will take you back to my Village and make you whole again. You see, there is one thing that the men still do not know about me. Every year, when I visit each home and leave presents and trinkets for all to enjoy Christmas Day with; I also take the spirits of each and every Christmas Tree with me, when I leave. That way, you do not have to fade away. You can live forever with me and my elves in our Village. We shall be there soon, so rest and let sleep return to you as it has with all the others. I shall wake you when we are there.
The Little Christmas Tree was so happy not be alone anymore. He looked down at himself and he still had the sparkling stars on him. He was proud to show all his stars to the other trees in Santa’s sleigh. As he looked over, he was amazed to see that each and every tree had the same stars on. Well, not exactly the same, for some were different colors, like the leaves in the fall. But everyone sparkled! The Little Christmas Tree was happy to be in Santa’s sleigh. It was such an honour to be a Christmas Tree! But now, where was he going? He did not know quite what to think or feel. He was safe. He still missed his old friends. But now here were so many new friends for he was going to a new forest. He looked around at all the other trees and began to wonder again. This Little Christmas Tree was not ready to let sleep return, not yet.
“Santa, “the Little Christmas Tree stopped a minute. Was he allowed to ask questions of Santa Claus?
“Yes, Little One. You want to know something.”
The Little Christmas Tree felt a little like he was talking to the Old One again, but it couldn’t be the Old One, it was Santa. He felt confused, but decided to keep talking, it might help.
“Well, Santa,” he began, “Santa, are we going to where Christmas is? Will I finally get to know where Christmas is?” The Little Tree thought of all the others back in his old forest and he especially thought of the Old One and of him saying “Be Brave.” He was really trying to be brave and listen, but there was so much newness and so much he did not know. “Will I Santa, will I get to know where Christmas really is?” The Little Tree let out a sigh at the end when he stopped talking; it made Santa smile in the softest of ways. With that smile, the Little Tree’s confusion started to melt away, like the snow in spring.
Santa smiled ever so gently. This question he had heard often. Each year, the same questions and so the same answers. “Well, Little One, where Christmas is? Yes, I guess it is one of the places where Christmas is. Yes, one of the places.”
The Little Tree did not understand. “Santa, one of the places? Are there more forests like the one in your Village, Santa?”
“Well, no Little One that is not what I meant. Christmas is not in a forest. You see, Christmas is not a place.”
“Well, then what is it?” the Little Christmas Tree asked quietly.
“Christmas is a feeling. Christmas is alive inside of everyone.” The Little Tree had nothing to say. He was unsure of what Santa meant. Alive? Inside? Where, how? He did not understand, so he just waited for Santa to say more.
Santa smiled gently again and the Little Tree felt better inside. “There, there” said Santa, “There it is starting. Christmas is starting to come alive inside of you, can you feel it?”
He smiled at the Little Tree and said, “Feel how you are warming from the inside out, feel how you are listening to me so carefully, with no more questions; that is the beginning of Christmas happening inside of you.” The Little Christmas Tree smiled from the inside out, his sparkling stars brighten, his branches strengthened.
Santa continued. “You are feeling stronger, brighter and more of what you are meant to be. That is the birth of Christmas inside of you. Christmas is simply a time for all to stop and listen to the kindness inside, the sparkle of the lights from the inside, to the warmth of their own caring. Christmas is a feeling, Little One, a feeling that we are sometimes just too busy to notice is always there. Christmas lives in the hearts of everyone, but we must stop and let it out so it can grow. Do you understand what I mean?”
The Little Christmas Tree thought a minute. He felt the warmth inside himself, he felt strong inside himself, like he was growing fast into a full grown tree of the forest; he felt the memory of the men of the village and the warmth spread again. “Yes, I think I do. Do you mean the way I was honoured to be the “Christmas Tree” for the men in the village? And that I did that, as brave as I could. Is that where Christmas is Santa; in me when I left the forest and was the best Christmas Tree I could be, for the men of the village?”
“Yes, Little One. That is exactly it. Sharing. That is where Christmas is, in the sharing of ourselves with one another. Now, Little One, nestle down in the sleigh and rest. We have a long journey ahead of us.” And with that, the sleigh seemed to speed up as it flew across the sky, past the moon and through the stars.
The Little Christmas Tree did not remember much after that, for he was tired from all the excitement of sparkling stars, and his Santa Claus adventure. Slowly, and not very willingly, the Little Christmas Tree fell off to sleep.
Santa looked back and smiled. “There, there now, all my little ones, we shall be home soon and there you will sparkle and shine forever in the Christmas Forest of the sky. Home Rudolph, home boy!” With that the sleigh sailed high, high into the night sky and disappeared into the darkness of the night for yet another year.
Minutes later, back in the old forest, the Old One was stirred by the dance of wind. He opened his eyes and looked up into the night sky just in time to see a flash and a burst of light open into the darkness and from that it seemed new stars were born. He smiled and wondered, what did happen to all the Christmas Trees, the ones that left the forest each year. As if his thoughts were heard by the night, the stars that filled night sky seemed, just for a moment, the Old One swore, that they seemed to have colors, a rainbow of colors. The Old One sighed contentedly, and began to settle back down for sleep under a night sky with more stars than he had seen in long time, not since this same time last year. In that moment, the Old One knew, he really knew down deep inside, in the warmest part of his heart, what really happened to all the Christmas Trees that had ever left the forest. With that knowledge, he sighed and slipped into a warm and contented sleep and from somewhere close but far away, he heard “Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!”
Author Bio :
Donna Somerville: “I view this life as journey to truth; it is about learning to be comfortable with what You feel, as You allow life to unfold around You. Life happens FOR you, not TO you. Your part is to discover the why of it all.”
Donna Somerville is a full time conscious medium now using her ability to listen on behalf of Your True Self. For information about private sessions, correspondence courses or classes in your area, see www.donnasomerville.com
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