The Smallest Christmas Tree

Many of you may not know that I’m adopted.  More than three decades ago, just before Christmas, my mother brought me into her home–my home–for the first time.  Though she couldn’t possibly have known what she was getting into, she and my father and sister welcomed me with love and always made me feel as much a part of the family as though I had been born into it.  This story is for my mother, who helped me decorate my very first Christmas tree since I left home, and who was worried that it was too small.


The Christmas tree was very small.  It was the smallest Christmas tree in the forest.  “Hmm,” said its father.  “Oh, dear,” sighed its mother.  Its brothers and sisters looked down at it and giggled.

Tiny tree

Tiny tree (Photo credit: get down)

At Christmas tree school, the other trees in the class won prizes:  “Best in Ornaments,” “First in Candy Canes,” “Biggest Star.”  But the smallest Christmas tree didn’t win any prizes.

The teacher looked at the smallest Christmas tree and shook its head.  “People want big trees, trees they can hang a hundred ornaments on.  There may not be a place for you.”

The smallest Christmas tree drooped its branches all the way home.  That night, it dreamed of a warm, welcoming house filled with firelight and purring cats.  It dreamed of hot chocolate, Christmas carols, and falling snow.  It dreamed of being covered in a hundred ornaments and crowned with a big, bright star.

Every day, the smallest Christmas tree looked for a home that wanted a tree.  Every day, it heard the same thing:  homes these days want bigger trees.  You can’t hold all the ornaments.  You can’t cover all the presents.  You can’t hold up the star.

English: Tree in Freezing Fog Tree on side of ...

English: Tree in Freezing Fog Tree on side of footpath. Footpath between Oak Road and Hampers Lane. Very cold and frosty day pre-Christmas. Brrr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas got closer and closer.  The wind became sharper and colder.  It rushed through the branches of the smallest Christmas tree.  The tree shivered and pulled its boughs tight against its trunk.  For the first time, it began to wonder if it would ever find a Christmas home.

Then, it saw a tiny sign in the corner of a store window: “Christmas tree wanted.  Fireplace with cats.  No tree too small.”  The ad looked old.  It looked like it had been in the window for a long time.  But it was Christmas Eve, and the smallest Christmas tree decided to try.

The house didn’t look like much from the outside.  It was the smallest house on the street.  It was all the way at the end of the street, so the smallest Christmas tree had to walk past window after decorated window, each showing a tall and brightly-lit Christmas tree.  The smallest tree stopped just outside the front door of the smallest house, tired and cold and almost ready to give up.

basil fireplace

basil fireplace (Photo credit: cyrusbulsara)

Then the door opened.  Warm light fell on the smallest Christmas tree.  The tree looked into the beautiful, smiling face of a small young woman.  Cats purred at her feet and firelight flickered in the background.  Behind the woman was a space near the fire just big enough for a very small Christmas tree.

The woman welcomed the smallest Christmas tree into her home.  Christmas carols played softly around the tree as it settled gratefully beside the fireplace.  The wind outside blew fierce and cold against the windows, but the smallest Christmas tree was warm inside the smallest house.  The space beside the fire was just the right size.

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The woman brought out all the ornaments she had been saving until she finally found a tree.  There were over a hundred ornaments.  Each one had been given to the woman by someone she loved.  Each one had a story with it.  The woman told each story to the smallest Christmas tree as she decorated it.

The woman decorated the smallest Christmas tree for hours.  She sang carols as she wound garlands through the tree’s branches.  She smiled as she hung it with candy canes.  She covered the bottom of the Christmas tree with a shimmering blanket, and she hung ornaments on every branch, all the way up to the top.  The smallest Christmas tree held very still as the pile of ornaments grew smaller, wondering how all of the ornaments could possibly fit.

But they did fit–every one.

English: American Christmas Tree

English: American Christmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last of all, gently and carefully, the woman placed a glittering star on top of the very highest branch.  Covered in ornaments and surrounded by firelight and music, the smallest Christmas tree had found its home.

The next morning, the smallest Christmas tree looked out of the windows of the smallest house.  Nearby, the woman cradled a cup of hot chocolate beside the fire.  Beneath the tree’s branches, cats purred and prowled on the shimmering blanket.  Snow was falling soft and white outside the windows.  In its new home, the smallest Christmas tree heard the glad ringing of bells and knew that it was Christmas day.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  May every wandering soul find a home like mine.

Thanksgiving Stew

Here is the Little Blind Girl’s recipe for Thanksgiving Stew:


  • Eighteen relatives from four generations
  • A kitchen that can only hold three people
  • A turkey that’s been cooking since before dawn
  • Seven different desserts
  • Small children in dress clothes who’ve had too much sugar and not enough sleep
  • Half a dozen cars trying to share a driveway
  • Ten family stories that have been aged for at least five years
  • Assorted pets, dietary restrictions, conflicting commitments, & long-running grudges

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

Directions:  Put the turkey in a home that hasn’t been this clean since last Thanksgiving.  Add the four generations of relatives gradually.  Sprinkle in the small children, the desserts, and the overcrowded driveway.  Let simmer, then add the kitchen that can only hold three people (beware of elbows) and the family stories (use liberally and without discretion).  Garnish with assorted pets, dietary restrictions, and conflicting commitments.  Add the long-running grudges to the after-dinner drinks.  Serve warm and eat until you fall asleep in your chair while watching football.  Serves:  a small nation.  Leftovers should last for approximately two weeks, depending on the strength of the grudges.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I’m grateful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for reading my blog, and being kind enough to let me know when you like it.

St. Blogger’s Day Speech

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

Shakespeare 'Chandos portrait' (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was thinking there should be a blogger’s day, or maybe a WordPress online day of appreciation for those who put their close-kept thoughts and most dearly-held opinions online for the pleasure of people they’ve never so much as met.  It takes a great deal of courage to say what you think and invite literally the entire world to read and comment on it.  When you stop to consider it, it’s an extraordinarily powerful phenomenon.

Then I got all defensive on behalf of bloggers, thinking about the random vicious comments people make on blogs just because they can do it anonymously, and about all the blogs that are so passionate and into which people put so much work, but that are virtually ignored.  Then, predictably, I got to adapting Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V in my head, which is the kind of thing I do when I get bored.  And then, of course, I had to type it out and share it on my blog!

So here you are, fellow bloggers, readers, and commenters:  my St. Blogger’s Day speech for you (it helps to imagine Kenneth Branagh delivering it):

And WordPress Holiday shall ne’er go by,

From this day to the ending of the ‘Net,

But we in it shall be remember’d–

We few, we happy few, we band of bloggers;

For he online that comments on my blog

shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

this blog shall respond to his comments;

and bloggers on WordPress now a-bed

shall think themselves accurs’d they weren’t online

and hold their bloghoods cheap whiles reading those

that blogged with us on WordPress Day!

The Little Blind Girl’s Staycation, 2012-2012. RIP.

Part of gravestone in Sighişoara (Schäßburg, S...

Part of gravestone in Sighişoara (Schäßburg, Segesvár), Evangelical Cemetery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Monday, after a long and full life, the Little Blind Girl’s staycation was laid to rest after passing away peacefully in the LBG’s sleep.  LBG’s staycation is survived by its sister, the Christmas holidays, its brother, Thanksgiving, and its children, Memorial Day Weekend and the Fourth of July.  Those who knew and loved the LBG’s staycation remember with fondness the many household chores accomplished during its lifetime and the hours of catching up on sleep it provided, not to mention the lengthy list of very bad movies it took pride in consuming en masse.

Perhaps most memorable about the LBG’s staycation was its remarkable and inspiring battle with Workiscalling Syndrome.  Twice during its life, the LBG’s staycation was threatened by relapses of this debilitating disease, resulting in stays of an hour or more in the office.  With the support of friends and colleagues, however, the LBG’s staycation was able to overcome Workiscalling Syndrome and return home to indulge in its favorite pastimes, eating Doritos and playing Angry Birds.

The LBG’s staycation’s circle of mourners recall the good times lounging around in pajamas at two in the afternoon, watching the world go by and thinking about all the people in offices wearing suits.  We know the LBG’s staycation is in a better place, perhaps Hawaii or St. Croix, and we wish it well as it goes to join that Great Vacation In The Sky.  Go in peace, LBG’s staycation.  You will be missed.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Blog!

Dear Blog,

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960

We’ve been together for several months now, and I feel that we’ve grown so close in just that short time.  I pour my heart out to you, and you tell all the intimate thoughts of my soul to random strangers who know nothing about me.  I can tell you anything, unless it contains profanity, references to excess consumption of alcohol, or anything indicating who I really am.  You never criticize, never judge, never tell me my hair looks a little flat, never ask me if I’ve gained weight (never do that, by the way.  I will stab you with a fork, right in the comments).  You’re always there when I need you, and I just want to tell you, my blog, happy Valentine’s Day.

Renoir's painting of cabbage roses, Roses in a...

Image via Wikipedia

These roses are for you.  They symbolize the flowering of our relationship, though they can never smell as sweet as the feeling you give me when I see your hit count go up every time I look at you.  What we have, you and I, is the most stable relationship I’ve had in years.  It’s a testament to what you can do when you work patiently at being there for each other every day, keeping the lines of communication open and making sure you express your thoughts and emotions.  I promise I will always take care of you, dear blog, and I know you will always accept me for who I tell you I am.


Christmas candle

Image via Wikipedia

I want to take you out for a walk on a moonlit search engine and get you a fancy new domain name, maybe one of those ones you actually pay for, but I know you’d prefer to just have a quiet, candle-lit blog entry here at WordPress.  I know you’re not one for vain adornments and blog badges, but I want to give you this special, intimate evening, just you and me and anyone who happens across this blog entry, to commemorate our time together and to tell you just how special you’ve become to me.  Though we’ve been together so short a time, I can’t imagine my life without you.  Happy Valentine’s Day.


The Little Blind Girl

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers, too, you filthy voyeurs!

P.P.S.  No offense meant…