Love finds bits, scraps, serendipity and Christmas

by Craig on December 25, 2014

It started with this…

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A rosemary topiary
free because nobody wanted it

Not a tree, but almost looked like a Christmas tree

Now, just outside my window is an actual big pine tree

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A storm a few years ago left the ends of the branches scattered on the ground

I remember thinking that each would make an awesome…

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

So the other day in a cold rain
I picked the perfect little branch

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Sorry Pine Tree

But I still needed a stand

The topiary was in a pretty pot

Hmmmmm

Now to chop down the mighty topiary…with my bread knife
I took it outdoors, laid it on its side, and began to saw away

Sorry Topiary

And I hadn’t really thought about it until now
But sacrifice is part of the meaning of Christmas

The tree sacrificed a branch
The topiary sacrificed more

I tried shoving the branch in
but the soil was dry and unfriendly

A screwdriver
some water
and in.

A lesson in that too, I think

It was a little tilty
I tried to straighten it out
but then I decided to let it be

although Laska thought the ornament looked silly in the pot

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It was perfect – perfection in imperfection – Christmas

A stable, a surprise pregnancy, no room in the inn
And from all that imperfection was born perfection
and from him, the grace by which we can all be perfected

The topiary found its undignified end in the trash – didn’t seem right
But then, I thought, Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb – felt more right

Tree – check
Base – check

Now I needed a red ornament actually on a branch, because Laska made a good point

I have only one Christmas ornament
a handmade gift from a friend

and red

Sadly the ornament has no hook

But, a little story…

When I started blogging I attended a blogging conference
Blogging has been bittersweet, the conference more bitter than sweet
But I read somewhere that you should bring paperclips to a conference

So I bought, and brought, a box
the only box of paper clips I’ve ever bought
a little bending and twisting and voilà … a hook

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Tree – check
Base – check
Red Ornament on tree – check

Perfect!

Until I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas
and saw Linus wrap the bottom of the tree in his blanket

Swaddling clothes for the tree

I had no little baby blanket
nothing soft small comfy and blue

But lately I’ve been wearing my one stained ratty old blue sweatshirt

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Tadaaaaaa … and Laska admired the placing of the ornament

It’s a quiet tree
It’s a simple tree
It’s a humble tree

It’s not really a tree

It’s imperfect and charming

It makes me smile

Merry Simple Quiet Humble Imperfect Charming and Hopeful Christmas.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie December 26, 2014 at 12:09 am

Merry Christmas!

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Craig December 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

Katie, know that I have prayed for you and your husband, as I have before. Keep your nose above the waterline. Thank you for reading. I don’t think I can really call myself a blogger anymore, but it’s nice to know that the nicest people I met while I was blogging will still come by to read some words. Merry Christmas.

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Janine Bowen April 15, 2017 at 9:41 am

Why did you stop writing? Both of your sites are wonderful, and I wanted you to know that pieces of what you have given of yourself here have found their way off the page and into my life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your love. I’m sure that they are wandering around the world making it a better place more than you know.

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Mizliz Liz December 26, 2014 at 12:24 am

Imperfect me finds great joy in your words of CHRISTMAS. Hope. Love. Joy. Perfection in Him. Your words heal and I am glad.
Merry Christmas, friend. Liz

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Craig December 26, 2014 at 11:21 am

as I said in the post, Liz, blogging has been a bittersweet experience. You are part of this sweet. I’m still a person who hears every negative thing said but has a very difficult time hearing the positives. Thank you for always being a positive. I’ll keep trying better to hear the better angels. Merry Christmas.

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Martha Orlando December 26, 2014 at 6:28 am

Oh, such a sweet reflection upon Christmas and a perfect Charlie Brown tree. Merry and Blessed Christmas, Craig!

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Craig December 26, 2014 at 11:24 am

Martha, what I said to Katie, what I said to Liz, applies to you. Although never meeting you, you have been a friend. I wrote these few posts knowing that not many would read them – but I wrote them with specific people in mind. You were in mind. Please email me about how your book went, the experience, and if there are any spare copies left I have rubbed together a few pesos. I’d love a copy. Merry Christmas Martha.

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Martha Orlando December 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Hi, Craig!
Yes, the books are available at Amazon, either in paperback or Kindle version. You can order them through my website, too – http://www.gladetrilogy.wix.com/theglade. The order of the trilogy is this: A Trip, a Tryst and a Terror; Children in the Garden, and The Moment of Truth. Revenge! is book one in my next series which continues the stories and adventures begun in the first. Hope you will order and enjoy them, my friend. Would love your feedback!
Love and blessings,
Martha

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Grandma Joyce December 26, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Warmest greetings, Craig!

How wonderful to find you again—heart warming, encouraging, lifting our spirits and replacing worn and ragged Christmas touches with refreshing Charlie Brown insights. Thank you!

Special blessings,
Grandma Joyce

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Debbie December 27, 2014 at 8:17 pm

I am so touched and ministered to by this, dear Craig. You teach me in a most tender way. Thank you, friend. And God bless the words and truth you share from Him.

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glenna December 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I had wondered where you had been so long ….glad to see you are still in blog land

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A. January 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Craig, I am catching up backwards here so I will go to the post before this one next but I HEARTed this post! The ’tilty tree’ and the ‘swaddling clothes for a tree’ were among my favorites of your word artistry! There was a quiet yet warmly smiling tone to the way you presented the message in this post. Loved it! Also favrit was that last photo of Laska looking so perfectly at that ornament. :) Thank you. Just…. thank you. Smiling.

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Michelle January 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Somehow I missed these posts…but caught up with your other site. So good to read your words (even if it is the middle of January), very appropriate. I have missed your writing, and love having you back, however briefly/intermittently. :)

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Craig January 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

intermittently – good word. It’s taken a while to get my brain back. Holy cow, it’s been more than two years since those seven days with no sleep. it’s taken nearly that long. Wow. Anyway, intermittently is a good word. I know there are a few people who are still interested in what I have to write, even after I’ve been gone so long, but I’m not sure what to do with all of these words that are still in my head. Blogging, at least the way I wanted to do it, in the community in which I wanted to do it, not really possible anymore. without getting into too many details, certain doors were blocked and closed by certain people, and it’s really too late to reopen them. But people like you Michelle, I so like to write things for people like you and the others – and they know who they are (hint: look at the comments for this post). I still like writing for my “precious few” but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my writing as a whole. Any input is welcome ツ God bless and keep you Michelle. Thank you.

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Andrea Dawn February 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Well it is now quite past Christmas, but still the new year, so Happy New Year, Craig! I have checked back often to see if you had resurfaced in cyberspace, so am delighted to see you here again. Prayers have been offered on numerous occasions as Papa brought you to mind. Blessings for the year ahead . . . provision for all your needs, health for your body, peace for your soul, joy in your spirit and great grace to cover all.

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Layla Payton February 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm

How perfectly sweet this was.

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Barbara from Grace April 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm

Craig, I really enjoyed this piece about the Christmas tree. Do you knows the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Your blog reminds me of that format, because there was a step to go after each step go the end result being a Charlie Brown tree. I am enjoying your writings on this blog. They are more up my alley than the other. Your other blog is great too, but for where I am now, this one speaks to me.

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Craig June 17, 2015 at 11:10 am

Eeeek Barbara, I have a spam comment filtering system and sometimes it traps someone’s first comment. I didn’t see your comment till today. Sorry. Give a Mouse a Cookie is a classic – so thank you. And the other Deep is different. This one was always a little softer, more comfy, more personal. This one is about love in my life. The other is about my thoughts on spiritual things. Anyway thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. God bless.

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