“Dad!’ asked my younger one, “Should we buy a Christmas tree?”
“No,” I said, “There’s some in the garden, have a look at them!”
‘There’s two!” she said, and giggled, ‘but they are more or less apologies for trees. One looks like it’s wearing a mini skirt, with branches coming out high in it’s trunk, and the other will bore a hole in our roof, it’s so tall!”
“There’s one more!” I said, and walked to my garden. There it was hidden behind my swing and the wall, cleverly camouflaged by other plants and trees, “You’re hiding!” I said sternly to the tree, “It’s that time of the year when you are needed!”
Please leave me here!” said the tree, “I saw your daughter looking for me and I hid!”
“Why?” I asked surprised.
“Because, I don’t want to leave the sunshine and company of the garden and enter a dingy sitting room!” sobbed the tree, “Especially, when there’s so much depression and disappointment in the air, with the virus driving everybody into despair. Please let me stay here!”
I looked at the tree and had half a mind to agree with the dejected fellow, when I realized that could not be so, “No!” I said, “In my sitting room is where you belong!”
“Take Mini Skirt or Amitabh Bachchan instead!” moaned the tree.
“They will only add to the unhappiness around!” I said sadly, “Whereas you will bring joy!”
“Joy?” asked the Tree.
“Yes,” I said, “With your evergreen leaves, your sprightly trunk and tapered shape, you would remind us that despite all the disappointments of this year, there’s hope!”
I saw the tree leaning forward to hear more, “Trees like you have a responsibility this season. You could show people things have not changed permanently, that it’s all a small setback, and just as you appear green and beautiful in their rooms, life will spring back to normal!”
“And me?” asked Mini Skirt.
“Your bare trunk looks like all the months we’ve lost sitting at home!” I chuckled, and all the trees in my garden laughed, including the Peepul tree behind, who yelled “Yeah Mini, learn to grown some leaves below and maybe you’ll be taken in next year!”
“Thanks Peepul!” I said.
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“And you!” continued Peepul, looking at the reluctant Christmas Tree, “I agree, this year it’s not easy for you to enter dismal homes, leaving your lovely garden….”
“Just like the Christ child did!” said tall Amitabh.
“Yes,” I whispered, “Just like the little Baby did two thousand years ago!”
“How did the tree leave it’s hiding place?” asked my daughter coming into the garden.
“I guess some trees know when they are needed!” smiled the once reluctant Tree waving it’s green branches, with hope and joy and Christmas cheer..!
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