Not a single place dark or unhappy.

We have been ill around our house, and could not get going on the Christmas tree project until this week. Now we managed to get it up and decorated.

I cut off our homemade wood-shaving angel in the picture so I’m showing a close-up in the next. Mr. Glad did nearly all the tree-trimming this time, after he went all by himself to get the tree, a Noble Fir grown in Oregon.


Anna wrote last week about various Advent and Christmas trees she has known, and it made me want to remember some trees of the past. Her post includes a photograph of a large and dramatic Christmas tree in Norway.


I don’t have anything that old, but at right is a picture of me in a red sweater in front of a 1950’s tree. And at the bottom of the page, a little tree that the sister in the photograph gave me more recently. I like best to have birds and fruit and pine cones on my tree, and I never did like tinsel.

The boy at left (now our Soldier) is posing by a tree from a minimalist era, when a friend let us cut from his property a wild and untamed specimen, on which we don’t appear to have strung lights. But how strange and exciting for young children to have a tree in the house for a while, even undecorated.

Below, this year’s tree before trimming, to go with a sweet poem e.e. cummings wrote.

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

–e.e. cummings

11 thoughts on “Not a single place dark or unhappy.

  1. I love this poem! I will have to try it out on C. I always am sad to cut a tree down where it grows in the forest, but the kind of beauty we then get to enjoy in the house comes only at Christmas, and it's fitting to have such a special and unusual decoration at this time.


  2. What a lovely full tree…a Noble Fir from Oregon? I never heard of that kind, guess they don't grow in Ohio. My sister who lives in Portland, got a Douglas fir this year. I ♥ that little tree in a bucket on the table, too – small and cute…and citrus.


  3. Yours is a beautiful tree! I like the kitchen tree too with the birds. And the poem makes me think of Christmases past when I was a girl. We used to chop our tree down in the forest and we carried out the tradition with our children.

    Sadly, now I have a “fake.” It is pretty though, but next year, REAL.



  4. I'm finally catching up with your wonderful posts.

    Seems I'm constantly learning from you…your reflections on trees of the past made me reexamine the attitude toward having a tree in our own home this year. Since I hadn't finished the decorations I had pictured for the tree, no tree skirt, etc. wouldn't be around here for Christmas etc., we decided to wait until next year for a tree. But when I saw the picture of Soldier in front of the wild tree, I was touched. The simplicity is beautiful. The meaning deep. I'm stirred to let the Spirit of the Lord enter my heart so that He be remembered in this season and also that my little son might see Him too, and not just a mommy who's striving for some sort of meaningless ideal.


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