Christmas on Our Farm

4 Jan

One of the most fun and memorable aspects of Christmas for us is getting our Christmas tree. Sometimes something that starts out of necessity becomes a wonderful tradition. Years ago, right after Joanne and I were first married, we spent our first two Christmases in a trailer home. I was working as a hired man. Our finances were extremely tight so that we couldn’t afford to buy a Christmas tree. We got permission from the land owner to go into his small stand of pine trees and cut one, those first two years.

Shortly after our second Christmas, the Lord opened the door for us to buy our own farm. We have a good-sized woods here, with a fair number of long-needled pine trees spread throughout. In the early years of our farming, finances were still tight, so the choice to go to our own woods for a Christmas tree was an easy one to make. Our young children really liked it, too.

We didn’t have a pick-up back then, so we hooked up our old tractor to a way-older trailer and went down to the woods. We would sing “Jingle Bells” and other appropriate songs on the way down and back home, enjoying it all the way. I have an old teddy bear that I received when I was a young child that I named “Sam.” Every year Sam goes down to our woods and picks out a Christmas tree for us. He makes a trail through the woods, as only a bear can, to the perfect tree.

To get to the tree, you have to follow all his clues. What kind of clues does a bear give, you ask? Go to where we caught our last coyote. Then go to a large, hollow, raccoon tree. Then go to a badly-twisted ash tree. Then go to a large fallen-down pine tree, and so forth. Normally he has about 20 clues for us to follow to get us to the right tree. It usually takes us about one hour to follow his trail. We have done this now many years; and even though the kids are grown, they still insist on “Sam’s trail.” So I still sneak out ahead of time and make “Sam’s trail” for the rest of the family to follow.

The Lord has greatly blessed us over the years, as we have followed Him. We could easily go into town and buy a perfectly-shaped Christmas tree, but we don’t. It’s so much more special to go to our own woods and follow “Sam’s trail” to our own tree. Obviously our own tree is not pruned and shaped perfectly, like a purchased tree is, but it means so much more. We greatly enjoy getting it and decorating it as a family. Our focus is not on a perfect tree and perfect presents, although we sure do like our tree and we sure appreciate the gifts we give and receive. We do all of this in recognition of the perfect gift God gave to man—his Son, Jesus—to save us.

Some people feel it is wrong to put a tree up to celebrate Jesus’ birth. They base this belief on Jeremiah chapter 10. In Jeremiah’s day, people were cutting trees and decorating them. They were making them into idols, giving them supernatural power and worshipping them. This was idolatry and absolutely forbidden by God. We here do not make an idol of our Christmas tree. Rather, we use it to glorify God in remembering the greatest gift ever given to mankind in Jesus.

We learned a long time ago that the key to celebrating Christmas was not the perfect tree or lots of presents. Rather, it was walking in love with one another, whether we had little or much, and glorifying Christ. So this year on Christmas, as in years gone by, we will wish our cows and young stock a blessed “Merry Christmas.” Then we will gather around our tree and read the gospel account of Jesus’ birth and then open up our presents. We hope and pray that you who read this article also have a very blessed Christmas.


Bringing in the Christmas tree.

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