The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

Day 6: little tree

Dec 3, 2022 | 30 Days of Joy

Our Christmas tree this year is a wild one, harvested from our western NC mountain property. This is a decision one makes knowing charm rather than perfection is the order of the day. We’re a-okay with this, Tim and I, in theory. But then you start to decorate the thing and you realize: This here is an exercise that requires a little strategy.

For one, the branches are long and drapey. For another, there are far fewer branches on our charming tree than on a professionally grown and manicured Fraser Fir. Which means rather than going in the traditional round-and-round-the-tree fashion, Tim and I ended up winding lights up each branch, and then down each branch. It turns out this methodology requires a whole lot more lights (I am delighted with this as you can never have too many lights on a Christmas Tree please see my post from 2020: THERE ARE CERTAIN TRUTHS IN PROPERLY DECORATING A CHRISTMAS TREE.

Here was the problem. Once we’d gotten all 10,000 white lights on and wrapped just so, the bottom strand burned out. We unwrapped and replaced. (This was neither easy nor fun.) Pretty! Again! Then out they went again, and we replaced again (what a crazy coincidence—two strands burning out!) and after a while those went out and we stood back and considered and admitted: Houston, We Have A Problem.

Never fear. My engineer husband + two extension cords + a lot of unwrapping and rewrapping and our tree ended up fully lit and holding.


This morning I got up, raring to get the thing decorated. That, too, would require special effort—something I realized upon placing ornament #3. I was considering this when I went to my laptop on an unrelated matter and right then and there this very poem found its way to me.

[little tree]
E. E. Cummings

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”

Oh, little tree.

Noel, noel!


30 Days of Joy

ps: Thanks to my sweet Aunt Nancy for the phrase “embracing imperfections with joy.” It’s a beauty!


Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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