Silver dollar Christmas tree
By Jacob Hatcher
Having spent a handful of years delivering Christmas trees, I have seen a wide variety of Christmas decorations. I’ve seen vaulted ceilings with white flocked trees as tall as skyscrapers and green trees as wide and full as a round bale of hay. I’ve seen mansions that put Graceland to shame, lit up brighter than Clark Griswold’s house. Reindeer silhouettes lined driveways and huge wreaths ornamented grand entryways; a few times we were even treated to impromptu concerts on grand pianos played by country music stars as we made sure their tree stood level.
As exciting and beautiful as all of those were, the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen exists for me in an old faded photograph and through the stories of my Daddy and his brothers. You see, grandpa never had much in the way of worldly possessions, and what he did have he gained at a significant sacrifice. There were no family trips to tree lots in a gas guzzling truck; there was just a bent over sharecropper making his way to the edge of the woods to find the best cedar tree that he could.
Where our tree is decorated with ornaments from our travels, Grandma and Grandpa’s tree was a humble affair. Adorned with a little bit of garland and some tinsel, there was one string of lights, a few balls, and not much else.
To the naked eye, it was a pretty ragged tree. Not quite Charlie Brown’s tree, but not really destined for Rockefeller Center either; it was just a simple tree for a simple family. Taped to the limbs, though, were seventeen silver dollars. One for each grandchild. It seems like a small thing now, but there’s no way to describe the kind of sacrifice that was for Grandma and Grandpa.
It brings to mind the words of Jesus, who said that if sinful man can bestow good gifts upon his children, imagine what our Father wants to give us. And it does my heart good to know that those silver dollars were a good gift given by a man that knew the gift he’d been given by his Father.