The big ole Christmas tree that is around fifteen years old has seen its better days.

I’m not sure if it’s gravity, grandsons, or my physical abuse fighting the sections back into the tattered boxes that have caused the metal arms to fall past level when opened. When you grow up in lean times you learn early and often how to rig things.

I grabbed the sagging metal branches, right fist width, against the trunk, grabbed the middle of the branches with my left and bent the metal arms about six to eight inches up. Viola, the unnatural looking holes vanished like magic.

About eight or ten years ago the lights strands started to go south. Every year since then I’ve had to buy more and more additional strands to fill in the dead spots on the tree.

This year the prongs on the second to the lowest section’s plug fell out like and old beagle chewing on a Christmas hambone. So much for doctoring the ancient tree. This year would entail a complete light overhaul.

After the fifth trip to the local overpriced Ace Hardware, ’cause only a sadistic person would attempt Home Depot, I arrived back at the house with six twenty five foot rolls of new tree light. I broke with tradition and went with the bright white LED’s.

I thought I was going to have extra lights. Turns out there’s really not enough. It’s a budget tree now. Not to mention that no one else in the family likes the bright white contemporary lights. The grandsons love the tree and are awestruck by it… So I added them to “my side” of the bright white light debate.

We talk each year about this one being the last one for the ole Christmas tree, but after all these years with it I hate to turn it out to pasture.

That tree has stood proud over the years for the majority of the kids lives and now their kids lives. I know it’s just a tree, but I love what it stands for.

There are trees all over the world, more real than fake, and while I appreciate their beauty, it’s this tree, our old tree, that stands in tradition yearly as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

That tree is like me in a lot of ways; it’s patched and repaired. It still stands, but not as tall and straight as it once did. We’ve both seen our better days.

As I look back, the ole Christmas tree reminds me that although a lot of us have seen our better days, the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ means that we have better days ahead… we have perfect days ahead.