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    Self Actualized Christmas Tree

           The Christmas Tree. Nature with a twist of humankind. Part tree. Part machine. The cyborg of flora. One of the most beautiful creations on earth.
           With the creation of The Christmas Tree, humankind has added to, not taken from, the grandeur of the natural world. We actually improved on one of our planet’s most perfect specimens. How about that.
           We did this by bestowing one of nature’s greatest gifts with one of our greatest gifts: self expression. The Christmas Tree represents a divinely inspired combination of natural perfection and human creativity. An embellishment of our highest purpose upon that which does not need our embellishment, but welcomes it if our intent is the pursuit of beauty.
            Yeah, I know it’s just a Christmas tree. And yeah, I really feel it’s all of that.
            As you can imagine, I put lots of effort into my Christmas Tree. Once it’s up, lit, and trimmed, I make a habit of falling asleep in front of it. I lye on my couch and stare at it, sometimes for hours. I’m mesmerized by all the bright, shiny lights and iridescent garland. I see a self-contained world of magic, existing in it’s own space and time, right in the middle of my living room. And I listen. Because each one of my ornaments tells a story.
            Some of my ornaments were given to me by my parents. I remember when they hung on our tree when I was a kid. Many of them conjure up very specific memories. Like the little green shiny gift box that says “Harrods” on it that my folks brought back from London. Or the glass balls covered in orange silk that I’ve never seen on any other tree, ever.
            My Tree makes me think of my dad. He loved lighting and trimming our Christmas tree and decorating the house. I miss helping him light the huge holly tree in our back yard, and the two gorgeous cherry trees out front. I miss chopping down a fresh tree each year for him and my mom, and then delivering it to them with the truck I borrowed from his company. My dad and I would get the tree in the base, and then he would light it with more pink lights than I knew existed.
            My own collection of ornaments is fairly impressive. And like a woman who knows exactly where she got and what she paid for every piece of clothing she owns, I can recall similar information about every one of my Christmas ornaments. I can usually recall the store I bought them in, who I was with, how excited I was, and my general frame of mind, for every one. The data stays with me because that ornament is going to become an integral part of one of my great creations: My Christmas Tree.
            My Christmas Tree is a splendid example of maximized self expression. A nearly perfect extension of self. Of self fully realized. When I am fully me, I embody all the spectacular attributes of my Christmas Tree.
            My tree is real. It’s full. It’s unique and expressive. It makes a statement. People are drawn to it. It shines brightly, and it has a presence. It’s a beautiful work of art that uplifts people. It’s creative. Imaginative. Bold. Evocative. One of a kind. A many faceted jewel with a beautiful story to tell. Inspired by love, it gives off energy. It moves people. It’s wonderful just to be around. And man does it smell good.
            When any of us live at our full potential, we are just like the Christmas Tree. We become an ideal made real. A living work of art. The Christmas Tree represents what we can be when we completely show up for life, dare to be ourselves, and invite people to experience us.
            Every Christmas tree is like a fully self-actualized human being.
            No wonder they’re so damn beautiful.

    ©2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a self-actualized amount of Wrongs) Reserved.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    I love my Christmas tree too. Even Its selection is an event. It has to be real, even though I am coming to appreciate the greenness of an artificial one. I figure my real one can be recycled by helping stop erosion at the beach, or as compost in my garden. There's nothing like the smell a real tree brings into the house to make me feel the holiday spirit. I can never choose the first one I look at, even if I look at ten more and go back to the first one. Its a delicate and thoughtful process, which cannot be hurried. This has, as you can imagine, created a few tense moments in the past!
    The lucky selection reaches yet another level of beauty when brought inside. It always seems so much bigger than it looked on the lot, or waiting patiently in the bucket of water in the barn. it smells good. It reaches up to tickle the ceiling and its limbs crowd the allotted space. I now have a singular forest in my living room. i love the illusion of being in the piney woods while inside my comfortable house. I usually just set it up and let it rest for a day or so, as its familiar scent spreads through the house. The cat comes to sit under it, climb in it, and lets her jungle cat self emerge.
    Next come the lights, best installed in the evening, with subtle adjustments made to placement after stepping back and squinting several times. Now my tree is halfway there, twinkling out the front window of my house at passers by and casting beautiful multicolor needle shaped shadows on the ceiling and walls. We rest another night or two, living in the room lit only by the glow of the tree lights, savoring the progression.
    The final step of decorating requires a family gathering with a mix of Christmas carols on the stereo. We unwrap each carefully stored ornament and remember where and when and who it came from. There are family antiques, a slew of homemade ornaments by my daughter tracking the progression of her crafting skills over the years, those given by friends old and new, and even eclectics like pistons, mittens and pictures. There is a tiny blown glass pickle that we play hide and seek with. Bells hung low for the cat to play with jingle as she races under the tree chasing imaginary creatures thru the miniature forest. Our whole abbreviated family history hangs on the tree, prompting memories, marking the passage of time, and hope for the future.
    Its a wonderful sparkly time of year, filled with memories, joy and celebration. The tree is a manifestation of all of that, with personal flavor, right in our home. It is my favorite part of the season.

    December 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterasven

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