Sunday, 11 December 2011

Decorating a Christmas Tree as a Sacred Act

When I was decorating our Christmas Tree this afternoon, it occurred to me that in fact I was doing something very interesting: I was erecting a representation of the Tree of Life in our living room!

It all starts of course with a bare evergreen tree with nothing special on it. It is "formless and empty" and "dark". But the first ornaments to be hung are stringsof lights. You hang them in the tree, spiralling upward and downward, you put the powerplug into the socket and "Fiat LUX!", the tree is lit up with little sparks of light, very much like the stars in the sky, the Seeds of Creation.

And then I put strands of silver tinsel into the tree that start circling the tree trunk and are spiralling upwards, like a snake, ever reflecting and multiplying the sparks of light already there. And it goes on, when I start putting the bulbs into the tree. Now my husband and I have a special set of Christmas bulbs that we make ourselves. Each bulb represents a year of our relationship, so our collection is growing as our years together increase. So, when I am hanging these bulbs into the tree, I am decorating it with our own lives together and the Love that keeps us together.

And more bulbs -now of the more ordinary kind- are hung into the tree, so that all the sparks are mutiplied again and the whole tree becomes alive with specks of multicolored light. All the spheres are thus represented manifold, as each Sphere on the Tree of Life according to some is said to hold an entire copy of the entire Tree.

And when it is all done, I grab a bag of "Angel Hair" and start throwing that onto the tree. And this has a marvellous effect: it binds together all the elements in the Tree and turns it into a One, a single entity where all the decorations are linked by strands of Angel Hair, just as Angels are supposed to link all elements of the Tree of Life. And finally, I place a peak on top of the tree, and thus Crown it.

Wow! Never has something I have been doing and enjoying for years become so meaningful!

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