The Christmas (Tree) Miracle

Hope

Two weeks ago, on the first Sunday of Advent, my mom, along with my husband Mo, the boys and I visited a Christmas tree farm about six miles away. The mood was jovial and light; we perused trees and searched leisurely. There was none of the animosity that sometimes accompanied trips in the past, like “That one’s too fat. That’s too tall. I don’t like that one. We need a fatter one. We need a taller one” and so on. We soon reached a unanimous agreement, began to cut and yelled “timber.” We were extra-pleased because it had a long trunk, which would make for easy placement in the stand. My 10-year-old grabbed one end, with Mo carrying the other, and we made our way to the check-out area to have it shaken and wrapped. Mo went to fetch the car and returned moments later.

“My ring is gone,” he said.

Somewhere along the way, during the trek back with the tree, it appeared that his wedding band had slipped off.

“It’s because I’m so skinny,” he commented (which, I mentioned, is not something a mid-forty-year-old female necessarily wants to hear after a long weekend of eating Thanksgiving leftovers.)

We returned to our tree’s stump and retraced our steps. Several times. We looked and we looked. We couldn’t find it.

A strange feeling settled over me.

“After sixteen years….” Mo said.

I left my name and number with the lady who worked there, but felt disappointed and dejected.

The engraved ring that was blessed on our wedding day, was gone.

Upon returning home, we looked online for some replacements. Mo was excited about some of the modern choices and styles to choose from. We checked out titanium and tungsten. I even suggested that he get my name tattooed on his finger, so as not to have the same problem in the future. But we didn’t order one, and Mo returned to work the next day without a wedding band.

After the tree was decorated and trimmed that week my 10-year-old declared,
“It’s the most beautiful tree we’ve ever had.”

Again, the feeling was unanimous.

However, a few nights ago, my mom pointed out a dark spot somewhere in the middle of the tree. Upon further inspection, I discovered that a whole string of lights was out, so I bought some new ones over the weekend.

Joy

Last night, the third Sunday of Advent, as Mo prepared lasagna, my five-year-old built a “bouncy house” out of every cushion and pillow imaginable, and my mom observed from her perch on the couch, I finally set about the task of replacing the lights. I carefully removed about fifteen ornaments and gently placed them on the leather loveseat for safekeeping, and removed the entire dead string from the middle of the tree. Slowly, I replaced it with a new set, plugging each end into the ones that already hung on the tree. Never before had I replaced an entire string. After mom’s helpful direction from the comfort of the couch, “You’ve got a dark spot there….” I was done.

I went to the loveseat to retrieve Nutcrackers, glass balls, Santa and bulb-shaped ornaments and began hanging them in the bare areas. With a few more to go, something caught my eye in the loveseat, below the ornaments. It was small and round. It almost looked like it glowed from the lights of the tree.

I could not believe my eyes.

“Mo…” I hollered.

“What?” he called from his lasagna-making duties.

“Mo!!!!” I said, a bit more emphatically.

I ran to the kitchen, clutching his gold wedding band.

“Look!!!”

We both stared in disbelief.

“Will you marry me?” I asked, as I slipped it on his finger (and suggested getting it sized since he’s so skinny.)

He, my mom and I laughed, marveled and shook our heads.

Somehow, the gold band had slipped off at the tree farm, gotten nestled into the eight-foot tree, withstood being shaken by a machine and then survived the six-mile drive home atop the car. Somehow, after removing a whole string of dead lights and over a dozen ornaments, it made its way to the loveseat, just waiting to be discovered.

The simple, gold engraved band, that was blessed on our wedding day, has returned to its rightful home.

“It’s the most beautiful tree we’ve ever had.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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