Life Evolves With the Tree

Life moves ahead and the Tree of Life does too. It is not a static entity. My Tree of Life grew each year, and is still growing this year. The adornments that hung from her branches evolved yearly. At  first it was just birds, like the Navaho rug design. Then it moved to the bird house ornaments made by the grand elves. The next year, the bird houses had birds perched at the openings.

The original tree was green, but the ornamental birds didn’t show off very well. The green tree morphed and became white. The original multi-colored lights morphed into clear. This year, a few red bulbs are mixed in to make it pop more. The first flowers were simple red poinsettia placed randomly around her boughs. They looked so good they migrated to become the tree topper. The next year the poinsettia changed to pink with red roses mixed between.  The bouquet at the top became a focus, and soon there were lilies, baby’s breath, roses, poinsettia, carnations, iris, and even hydrangea.

Christmas is not Christmas without poinsettia. Every year growers introduce new colors and invent new ways to add sparkle and pizzaz to the flower. The bracts are sprinkled with glitter, dyed, and painted to make them unique and  colorful. Every year, I see a new artificial poinsettia that out does the last year’s prize. Usually, I buy a bunch of a new one that catches my eye and add it to the Tree. This year however, Grandma Peggy found something which is outstanding. They are boughs of  a simple leafy plant that resembles schefflera covered in red glitter.

One year a friend visited China, and brought me some Panda book marks. Each Panda is made of colored  paper that is hand cut and glued to a flat piece of bamboo.The Panda is a life form and has found a home place on the Tree. The same happened with butterflies. We found them while touring shops in Saugatuck, Michigan

The Tree of Life moves forward with new additions and some deletions every year making it a unique representation of our own lives.

My tree took a seven-year nap, and has now come back to remind me that life goes on even if circumstances change drastically.


Morty and Ben begin the plan to find Santa as they fly to the North Pole.


Chapter Four-Roll Call

High on a Mount Denali glacier, deep in a dark crevasse, Santa crawled out from under the green sleigh. He checked himself for broken bones and brushed snow off his suit. He started a roll call.




“Here,” answered Donner weakly.


“I’m here,” he said, “My antlers are tangled in the runner.”


“Here, but my leg is broken.”


“I’m here, scrapped and bleeding.”

“Comet,— Comet, does anyone see Comet?” asked Santa.

“I can feel him,” said Cupid, “He’s out cold.”

“How about Dancer and Vixen?”

“We are okay,” they answered in unison.

“Donner, please help Comet.”

“Dancer, Vixen, see if you can help Prancer.”

“Rudolph, turn your nose on.”

“Oh great, my light doesn’t work, now what do we do?”

“Try harder,” said Santa, “we need that light.”

“How will we find our way home without your light?”

“Why did we crash?” Asked Cupid.

“Something exploded right next to us,” answered Rudolph, “the shock forced me into a downward spin, then my light went out. We broke through the clouds, and saw the mountain, but it was too late. We landed fast, and slid into this crevasse.”

“Comet is waking up,” said Prancer.

“Where am I?”

“We crashed into a crevasse,” answered Prancer.

“Let’s put our heads together and see how we are going to get home,” said Santa.

“Does the  Sentra-vision work?” asked Rudolph. “We can call Jasper. He can  find where our signal is coming from.”

“I checked it before, it doesn’t work either,” said Santa, “See if you can repair it.”

“Blitzen, splint Dasher’s leg. Dancer and Cupid, explore the crevasse in that direction. see if we can climb out of here.”

“Donner and Vixen, explore the opposite direction. I’ll help Rudolph with the Sentra-vision.”


To be continued…


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The Tree of Life Extends to Heaven

In my last two posts about the Tree of Life, I expressed feelings of  depression. Grief is a funny thing. You think you are over it, but it revisits at strange times. It has been seven years since I last assembled the Tree of Life, and I thought I was ready to move forward with it. Life moves on, and so must I. That is the rationale I used for breaking out the components to begin anew. It is time, and I am actually having fun recalling the “good times” that surrounded the Tree.

My new insight on the Tree is that “Life” extends into the afterlife of heaven. As I march forward on earth, Busia Barb moves forward in eternity. She lives within our hearts and visits during those moments when we bring the Tree to life again.

Another ornament produced in the Ornament Factory is called  God’s Eyes (Ojo de Dios). It is a Mexican Indian craft that my daughter brought into our lives from her Spanish studies. To make one, just wrap yarn around a cross of two popsicle sticks. It sounds simple, until you try teaching a four year old to do it.