Christmas Trees are Beautiful on the Inside

Christmas trees are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. When I was a child, during the holidays, I could not wait for my family to drift off to sleep. Once the house was full of restful breathing, I would shuffle out of bed and tip-toe past the hot crackling fireplace to see my beloved Christmas tree. I would stand in front of the tree, basking in the brilliant array of colored lights, surrounded by a mesmerizing combination of fragrant pine and ornamental reflections. Eventually reaching behind the Christmas tree, I would remove a red & white swirled candy cane, careful not to disturb the brilliantly placed decorations on the face of the tree, like the sparkling silver popsicle stick snowflake I made in kindergarten or the crystal heart shaped ornament for my sister engraved with “Baby’s First Christmas.” In time I would kneel before the Christmas tree and rearrange some of the expertly wrapped presents already beneath it to make a special place to rest my head. I would quietly slide the newly wrapped gifts over one another, carefully relocating each while making sure the ornate bows that marked each gift by importance remained full. Consequently, the vibrantly colored paper would make that unmistakable crinkling sound, which would always attract my sister’s cat from her bedroom. Bright eyed with curiosity, and purring with delight, the cat would appear without delay and immediately lay down in the space I had just created. Ordinarily I would have shooed her away, but tonight we would both sit with the heat of the fireplace behind us and stare at the tree with delight. In time I would lay my head on her silky fur, like a soft breathing pillow, as she pawed at the decoration hanging lowest on the tree. Underneath, surrounded by the red plush tree skirt, I would unwrap my candy cane and taste the sweet and sugary peppermint flavor while looking deep into the Christmas tree. It was at this moment I would fully explore the freshly cut wood and spicy evergreen scent, rich and thick like the sap inside a forest tree. Looking in the center of the tree, I would imagine I was a very small person no bigger than a bright gold Christmas bulb. Among the long, coarse branches and smooth, dark green pointed needles, I would set out walking and climbing, exploring the inside of my tree. Looking around, I was surrounded by oversized mirror-like ornaments and distorted reflections, making me taller, then shorter, wider and then thinner. Along every branch, multicolored lights illuminated my path as I climbed, like some sort of organic forest stage. Continuing to climb further, I would see white popcorn garlands criss-crossed by strands of metallic tinsel. Like a jungle explorer, I would break through the strands and reach up toward the white popcorn garlands to pull a piece of popcorn from the thread. I would then relax on Santa’s red shimmering sleigh hanging from a limb nearby, and while taking a large mouthwatering bite out of the popcorn kernel, I would listen to the song of the fireplace, popping and crackling in the distance. When my tasty popcorn break was over, I would keep climbing higher and higher, exploring every branch and touching every decoration to feel it’s unique surface and texture, until I reached the very top. Holding onto the side of the bright, breathtaking Christmas tree star, I would peer down the edge of tree - it looked like an ocean of pine needles and shiny holiday objects, and I thought “Christmas trees are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.”

Joshua Hastings

Bold. Current. Connected. Graphic design, social media, and technology solutions to move you forward. Phoenix-The Net-The World of Entertainment.

Phoenix, Arizona

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