Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Christmas Tree

A meaningful memory from the bean of Green Bean.

"Is that guy really Santa?" my youngest asked, eyeing the bearded gentlemen adorned in red from head to toe. After many questions, my husband explained that he was Santa's helper.

As I tucked my son in that night, he sighed. "I don't think Santa needs any more helpers. I want to work for him but I think he doesn't need any help." That was my entry.

I gasped. "Are you kidding me? Santa needs all the helpers he can get." I reminded him how we can help Santa out by giving to others during this holiday season - by giving to family, friends, animals, those in need. This has been a recurring theme in the Green Bean household during the past several holiday seasons. Some things, however, make a bigger impression on my boys than others.

Their favorite, and mine actually, is giving back to nature.

Each year - starting shortly after I began blogging in 2007 - my family has had a tradition of reconnecting with nature over the holidays. The older the children get, the more we are able to do. What began with a hike and hanging some pre-made birdseed eggs turned to Indian corn slathered in corn and bird seed and then to this year's Christmas tree, dedicated to the birds and small creatures of our yard.

We rolled pine cones in peanut butter and sunflower seeds one day and then next strung popcorn and dried fruit together. The kids consumed copious amounts of the fruit and popcorn - a healthy snack during an otherwise sugar filled season. Admittedly, the boys pooped out before mom.

Inspired, however, by a reading of the beautiful book, Night Tree, in which a family annually decorates a forest tree on Christmas Eve, we gathered our energy to create our own special tree. We picked a bare tree outside a front window and then sat back to watch squirrels, jays and sparrows enjoy our offerings.

And this is a true story - the kids broke out into spontaneous Christmas carols the minute we were done decorating. The song they sang? O Christmas Tree, of course!

Happiest holidays to you and this beautiful world in which we live.


Terry said...

That's the story we used at Early Literacy Fun ~formerly known as Story Hour. One family does hike out to find a tree to decorate for the animals. Maybe this year, we'll inspire one more. ...and then another...

robbie @ Going Green Mama said...

Good ideas! We had collected some pinecones before the snow, and we've saved them for a post-Christmas project.

Merry Christmas!

Alison Golden said...

I,ve said it before and I'll say it again, you are so good, I can't stand it!

Good for you for working this, I aspire to be you ;-)

Farmer's Daughter said...

I love this! My husband's family used to decorate a tree for the wildlife!

Green Bean said...

@Terry: Indeed!! And we might actually go out and decorate a tree next year instead of just in the front yard.

@Robbie: Have fun!

@Alison: Aren't you the sweetest!

@Abbie: What a fun tradition - plus you guys have a lot of those near you. said...

Happy Holidays!
Keep up the great work on your blog!
Best of Health and Happiness to you in 2011.

The Klauza's said...

I love the idea of 'giving' to nature. Natrally we have bird feeders and such, but never really thought of it in that respect. We are gonna have to read the book too!

Thanks for the great idea!


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