"Be a tree-hugger this Christmas" by Christina Nagy (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2016 Christina Nagy.

I am proud to say that my family is honored to be tree-huggers, but not necessarily for the reason you might think!

Like many families, mine started the Advent season and preparation for the birth of Our Lord by choosing our Christmas tree. Sadly, our beloved tree farm that we have faithfully visited for years had to close this year, and it seemed that our fun memories of enjoying the special activities that were offered there would end with it. However, thanks to my dutiful husband, we not only found another fantastic tree farm to search for the "perfect" tree, but its plethora of Christmas themed activities (all free!) included an opportunity to serve those in our military, a notion I find quite significant and gratifying.

Although the tree pictured is not the one we ended up choosing, its soft needles lured the kids in, and they could not resist a huge hug! This specific tree happened to be far softer than the others we had scouted out, including several that had left painful memories on our hands. However, these deceptively pretty needles became sharp reminders as to why we consider our devotion to our hardy growing neighbors.

[Tweet "Deceptively pretty pine needles are sharp reminders of our devotion to the Tree of Life."]

You see, my little domestic church honors the Tree of Life - the tree of Wisdom and Knowledge. This is a tree we surely hug spiritually since it is so significant to our creation story. We also bow to the Tree of Salvation, the cross on which Our Lord died and paid the ransom for our sins. How could our emotions of love and devotion not pour out when we approach this tree upon which our entrance into heaven has been granted? Such trees are objects of our devotion because they lead us to our God; we willingly run to "hug" them, for in doing so, we "hug" the Lord Whom we love so much.

With Christmas day on our doorstep, we look forward with great anticipation for the arrival of a newborn babe who will soon be nestled in a manger made of yet another tree. I can't wait to see my children hugging that wooden cradle with their Baby Jesus as they put Him in the creche scene that morning. 

So, how about you and your family? Are you tree-huggers?  My guess is, you really are!  :)

May the God of peace and all creation surround you with His life-giving light this Christmas. 

Let's prepare our tree-huggin' hearts to welcome Him in!  :)

Copyright 2016 Christina Nagy