We decorated our tree this weekend. Or rather, our trees.
A few years ago we started a tradition of decorating a small tree in the sweet girl's room. It's very small -- an old prop Dana had from a Christmas skit he did years ago. It's maybe a foot and a half tall, and we put it on her dresser each year with a few little ornaments.
We happened to get it out of the closet a couple of days ago, before we had opened up any of the boxes of ornaments. We weren't decorating the bigger tree until yesterday, but S. was so excited she just couldn't wait. "Can I go ahead and decorate the little tree?" she asked, and I laughed and said "sure," curious to know what she might do.
It was quite extraordinary really. She found a pale pink hair ribbon and draped it artistically over a few of the branches.
Then she arranged the soft cloth dolls and creatures from her little fabric creche (one she's had since her first Christmas). There's Mary sitting jauntily on a branch like a bright bird, and Joseph, gray of hair (in this particular version) peering from the branches like a squirrel. The camel's perched precariously near the top.
And on the very top, instead of a star, she placed half of a bright yellow plastic easter egg.
That last really struck me when I looked at the tree. What a perfect, crowning touch really. The incarnation is like the roots and branches of our faith. Without it, without God taking on human flesh, the rest of the gospel couldn't have happened. His death and resurrection are all of a piece with his coming as a small baby to take on our human nature, to assume that flesh that he would redeem.
She finished decorating her little tree yesterday, after the regular boxes of ornaments were opened. It's beautiful, and the easter egg still crowns the whole. I can't get those first, simple decorations, in all their wonderful childlike originality, out of my mind. Food for my heart this season.