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Is a Christmas Tree Just as Important as the Gifts Underneath It?

Yes, Perhaps Even More

There is a family in need living right up your street. You know this because the mother has just lost her job and the father is not living at home. Perhaps there has been some talk in your church about the family, or you see the children walking the neighborhood without shoes in the icy snow. It may be the family is silent about their situation – as silent as the night Christ came into this world. Only those who saw the star and traveled to the Christ child rejoiced at his birth.

We may think of our neighbor who struggles with depression every year, or the husband who is left to take care of his children since his wife’s passing. Perhaps the family who used to have ‘everything’ has no tree this year because the house they were living in was lost in a fire.

As Christmas approaches, our hearts turn to helping out. We wonder if a particular family is eating, if they have coats or if they have a home. We may think about a special meal we can place on their doorstep anonymously, or some gifts we can leave for them.

In all of our pondering, however, we may not even consider that the family doesn’t have a Christmas tree.

As a general rule, a family’s basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, are our first thoughts because everyone needs these things – especially at Christmas.

A Christmas tree, however, is like the icing on the cake, the cherry on a sundae. You don’t really need it to enjoy the treat.

Unless, of course, you do.

Some say suicide rates increase during the Christmas season. Though untrue – suicide is higher in the spring than in the winter, which is lower than at any other time of the year according to The National Alliance on Mental Illness, for many, mental illness steps up as the largest contributor to suicide during the holidays. There are hundreds of others who get depressed during the holiday season, and a good number more who have a difficult time managing their seasonal affective disorder.

Trees for Keeps cares about the icing and the cherry. They care about sharing the joy only a glowing and decorated tree can give a person struggling to see the light. Like the star leading the shepherds and wisemen to Christ, Trees for Keeps believes in the spirit of Christmas, in filling the souls and blessing the hearts.

When the new clothes have been put away, the food eaten, and the house swept and garnished, what is left to warm the soul and to gladden the heart, but a tree.

A tree for keeps.

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