“Billy, did you brush your teeth?” T-h-a-t was Billy’s Mom.
“No, Mom, I forgot”
Well, what boy might not forget to brush his teeth when his Mom had just promised that the next day he could go with her to pick out the Christmas tree. After all, how many five years old boys get to pick the family Christmas tree all by themselves?
“Go brush them now, Billy, and I will be right in to pray with you.”
A couple of minutes later, when Billy’s Mom walked down the hall to his room she found him already kneeling beside his bed.
“Hi, Mom. I’m ready to pray now. Mom, do you think we could ask Jesus to help us find just the right Christmas tree?”
“Yes, we could, Billy. Jesus is interested in everything we do, even picking out Christmas trees.”
“I’m really glad, Mom. You talked to Jesus last night, so tonight it’s my turn, right?”
“Right, go ahead, son.”
“Jesus, I sure want to thank you for the nice day we had today. Mom and I had a lot of fun playing in the snow and sliding down the hill and everything. Even if Mom can’t make a very good snowman, that’s okay cause she slides real good, and that kind of makes up for the snowman. I guess even Moms can’t do everything good. And Jesus, thank you for giving me such nice sisters, and take good care of them and my Daddy too, would you? And God, Mom says that you can do anything…so do you think that you might find time to help old Mrs. Finch down the road not to be so awful crabby? She wouldn’t be near so ugly if she would just smile once in a while. And since you are interested in everything we do, I could use some help finding just the right Christmas tree tomorrow. I’m really tired now, so good night, Jesus. Good night, Mom.”
“Good night, Billy.”
The next morning, at the crack of dawn, Billy came tearing into his parent’s bedroom. “Mom, Dad, get up..get up! Today’s the day we get the Christmas tree!!”
“Okay, Billy, said his Dad. We’re getting up right now. You go play in your room for a while.”
As Billy’s Mom was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, Billy came into the kitchen and asked if he could sit on the counter top and watch her. With Billy sitting on the counter top, while his Mom worked in the kitchen was the way they usually planned their days. With his two sisters in school, and his Dad at work, Billy and his Mom had lots of time to do things together. Sometimes, they did things like fighting Apaches, going on bear hunts, and tracking dangerous animals. In between the excitement, they always found time to visit someone that was sick or maybe just lonely.
“My, it sure is cold and snowy today, Billy. And just look at the way that wind is….”
“Hey, Mom, look at what’s blowing down the road!”
As Billy’s Mom looked out the window she saw what looked strangely enough like a Christmas tree blowing across their front yard.
“Help me down…quick Mom! Dad! Dad! Come here! Hurry!”
Billy ran down the hallway to look for his Dad, and almost ran into him as he came out of the bathroom.
“What is it, son? Take it easy.”
“It’s our tree, Dad. Wouldn’t you know God has answered my prayer already, and we don’t even have to go looking for a tree. It’s right out in our front yard. Hurry and get your coat on Dad, before it blows away. With that, Billy ran back to the window and looked out. “Dad, hurry, it’s blowing down the road toward Mrs. Finch’s house. If we don’t hurry she might get our tree.”
“But, Billy, we can’t just take it. It might belong to someone,”replied Dad.
“Well, let’s just get it, and then you can check. Hurry Dad…please.”
By this time Billy had on his coat and boots, and had gotten his Dad’s coat for him too. As the two of them hurried out the door and across the front yard in the blinding snow, Mother stood watching from the kitchen window and just shook her head. The “tree” was being blown along by the wind and was just at the edge of Mrs. Finch’s yard when Billy and his Dad grabbed for it. However, just as they reached for it, the wind blew it a little further and they both fell flat on their faces. Laying there with their faces covered with snow, they heard someone laughing hysterically. When they looked up, there was old Mrs. Finch standing on her front porch doubled up with laughter. Feeling rather deflated and totally embarrassed, Billy and his Dad quickly picked up themselves, and the tree, and headed for home.
Mother stood and watched as Billy and his Dad forced the tree in through the door and down the steps to the family room. Billy’s Mom thought, “My that tree looks awfully wide.”
As she dusted the living room furniture, she could hear her husband on the phone calling the neighbors to see if anyone was missing a tree. Next, she heard the pounding of the base being put on the tree, so she assumed that no one had claimed the tree and they were going to keep it. She decided to go down and see how the tree looked. As she started down the steps she heard Billy squeal,”Oh Dad, my Christmas tree is just beautiful!! When she got to the bottom of the stairs, she suddenly wished she hadn’t looked, for there it stood…three feet high, five feet wide, and topped by seven heads. It looked like some kind of monster!
“Billy, there is just no way we are going to keep that monster in this house; it simply has to go. What would people think if they saw that thing in our house?” lamented Billy’s Mom.
“No, Mom! You said I could pick the Christmas tree this year all by myself, and this is the one I choose. It’s not an ugly monster, it’s beautiful!”
Now, very firmly, his Mom said, “Billy, I said N-O! We’ll get another tree. Now you and your Dad get that seven headed monster out of here…”
As she headed up the stairs she heard Billy say, “Dad, did you hear what she said? Do something, please. We can’t throw out my tree!”
About a half hour later Billy came to her and said, “Mom, will you come downstairs for a minute?” His Mom realized that it had been very quiet down there.
“Alright Billy. Did you and your Father get that tree taken care of?”
When they reached the bottom of the stairs Billy’s Mom just sat down on the last step and put her head on her knees, for there it was…that ugly monster with lights, balls and tinsel on it’s branches. There was no angel to top the tree for it still had seven tops, and each of them had a light on it.
Billy came and put his little arms around his Mom’s neck and said, “Mom, Dad and I knew you would really like my tree if you could just see it once with all the lights and stuff on it. It is really pretty, isn’t it? God answered my prayer, just like you said he would, huh? He sent me a Christmas tree, the most pretty one I ever saw. And you know what else, Mom? He even answered my prayer about Mrs. Finch. She laughed today, for I think the first time ever. She’s kind of pretty with a smile all over her face!”
“Billy, I’m really happy about Mrs. Finch, but….
“Oh Mom, isn’t it just the prettiest tree you ever, ever saw? We just couldn’t throw it out Mom, cause just think…how would you feel if you always wanted to, and were meant to be, a Christmas tree? And then just when you finally got the chance to be all lit up and pretty, and in someone’s nice warm house, and you were making a little boy very happy, and then his Mom came along and said you had to go because you were ugly and had seven heads. Huh, Mom, how would you feel? God loves even the ugly; you said so, Mom! And He meant for my tree to be a Christmas tree, and now it is one. I can keep it, can’t I, Mom?”
Mom looked over at Dad and he just shrugged his shoulders. Then she said..”Okay, Billy, you are right. I wouldn’t want to be thrown out if I was meant to be a Christmas tree and I finally got to be one. Yes, you may keep your tree.”
Billy threw his arms around his Mom’s neck and hugged her real tight, “Thank you, Mom. I sure do love my tree. And I love you too, Mom.”
“And I love you, Billy”
With that, Billy ran over, flopped on the floor beside his tree, and just gazed up at his “very beautiful Christmas tree.”
All the family learned to love that ugly seven headed monster because of the faith and love of a little boy so determined to have his tree.