Hallmark perfection and our decapitated Christmas tree.

Do you feel as if you're the giddy character in a Hallmark movie whose stress and sorrow are magically vanishing this Christmas?

I don't. When Hewitt and I went tree hunting, instead of laughter, snow, and jingle bells, the first sales lot had suffered a raid and was empty.

The second store offered three twisted pines whose needles were falling out.

As we rode to the third place, Hewitt tapped the steering wheel, suggesting we snatch the lonesome, last tree or he would traipse into the woods and cut one down.

Since I didn't want him jailed for Christmas I brought home the 6 foot Douglas Fir. As we proudly put it up in our living room I discovered our tree had been decapitated.

This morning as I still stare mystified at it, I ponder rigging a stick to the top with duct tape so I can put a star on it.

More imperfection followed during Sunday's baking adventure when I unfortunately left out half a cup of butter in the recipe. But since my kids don't know much about Norwegian cookies I will let them think that Serina cookies are meant to be dense and heavy with flour.

My troubles are trivial you say?

I agree.

As I carried a meal to a girlfriend last night, the starkness of seeing her husband's bald head sent shock waves through me. I stood in their living room, hating cancer and praying for his healing, Then the couple's baby girl cooed and smiled, reminding me that joy is possible in the midst of utter darkness.

In what circumstances are you celebrating this Christmas?

I hope chestnuts are roasting over your fire and that Santa fulfills your wishes. But if not, I invite you to join the rest of us who simply cuddle up into the good news of a Savior being born. May you sense Him being fully present and sufficient in every circumstance you are in.

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