Life slumbers beneath the ice, cold and darkness of the winter solstice. Love waits — again — to be born anew in the most unlikely places. — Steven Kalas

 

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+winter+solsctice&qpvt=images+winter+solsctice&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=970347D4AE7FE82194CE0DC5632CCB226A97758B&selectedIndex=1

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/spirit-christmas-lives-even-fake-branches

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This year, I purchased my very first artificial Christmas tree. The boys are giving me tons of grief about it. But they seem resigned to it and ready to forgive me for this break from hallowed tradition. Conversely, my Native American friend Jeffery will be proud of me when he hears of this. He has for years frowned upon this strange Christian tradition, which of course is not remotely Christian in its origins; rather, pagan. Jeffery calls trees The Standing People and grieves for the living conifers who are asked to sacrifice their lives for two weeks of twinkle and nostalgia in American living rooms.

My motive, however, was not that I suddenly developed a cosmological conscience. Nor did I suddenly develop a soft spot for aboriginal people and their world views. Truth is, I didn’t want to tie an oily, resin dripping pine tree on top of my new Honda Accord, scratching against the paint job. And I didn’t want to pay a delivery charge. And I don’t have friends who drive trucks. So, as my 57th Christmas made its final approach, I broke ranks, cruised over to Target and bought an artificial tree.

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It’s beautiful. It’s a perfect illusion. It’s soothing and provocative, just the way I like it.

And the Standing People are safe from me.

And my car’s paint job is spared.

And my children are surviving. Adapting to their father’s sudden whimsy.

It’s quiet in this room. The tree is so beautiful and peaceful. Presents are beginning to gather under its branches.

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