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The Christmas Tree is Here to Stay

The tradition of decking the halls with a Christmas tree may have begun years before Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, stood around their first tree with their family in 1846, but one thing is sure:

The Christmas tree is here to stay.

And while store-bought ornaments came much later, after homemade ornaments, apples, berries, popcorn, nuts and cookies had graced the boughs of the evergreen for a few years, and after candles had been replaced by electric lights, by the 1890s ornaments were the standard fare from Germany, and almost everyone wanted a tree to put them on - Europeans and Americans alike.

Years ago, when the Jones' were gathering around their first tree, they began with a live one from the tree farm. And they loved it. The pine smells. The light that filled the room. The way they felt as they looked at each other.

When the children came, and tough years followed, there was one year in particular that this family couldn't afford a tree. As Christmas approached, they were lacking money for gifts and the Christmas meal. It took a lot for the neighbors to convince them to attend a musical concert - one they couldn't afford but had been paid for by someone else. And so, they went. To this day, the Jones' can't remember the concert, but they do remember what was sitting on their front porch after their return home.

A tree, some food, and just a bit of extra cash.

Time moved on, and the Jones' shifted their focus from live trees to the artificial ones. Years later, it was like a light switch had been turned on for Doug - the father of the family. The children were all grown up, and yet, the joy of the Christmas tree was still burning bright in this father's heart.

He wanted to begin a tree farm. He wanted to give away free trees to those in need. The family didn't own land for such a venture; heck, they wondered how to come up with the money for such a venture when they were still scraping by themselves.

And so, the dream sat. I think the dream was thinking about what it was going to do.

And then, in February of 2018, it spoke to Kathy - the mother of the family:

"Why not buy artificial trees? Why not give to families in need, trees for keeps?"

It was then Trees for Keeps was born.

Trees for Keeps is about love. It's about giving a tree that never dies to a family in need of love. It is about Christmas lights and decorations - tree skirts - anything involving a tree that needs a bit of dressing up.

It's about families in need, and it's about you.

Your heart and your hands.

What can you do to spread the love of Christmas this year?

Search your heart.

You may just be searching for a tree.

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