Friday, 1 August 2008
The Christmas Tree
It was December 7th, 2007, when I first noticed they’d put the Christmas tree up in the town square.
Obscured by the skinny arms of deciduous trees, it glinted and winked at me through the freezing night air.
There was a threat of snow, maybe some sleet was falling. People were going home for the weekend; closing their shops and businesses – getting ready to turn out the lights on a week of toil, on a week of money. And what would they see, as they turned from their shop doorway, but a magnificent Scots Pine tree decked in silver blue.
If I were a shopkeeper, I think that would be enough for me. That would be enough for me to think ‘this is okay’, that this week of arrogant shoppers, time-wasting browsers and thieving children was worth it, because it’s nearly Christmas and Christmas is bigger than just me and my troubles.
See, these shopkeepers are providing a service, one that actually creates ‘Christmas’ in so many households. I’d feel privileged to be a part of that.
And I think that’s how I felt - privileged - as I gazed out at the Christmas tree, across that worsening winter’s night.