Can I tell you a deep, dark secret? There are years we do not have a Christmas tree set up in our house. Don’t worry, I waited to traumatize the offspring until they were older. If you need proof, I have it in the form of pictures with a tree and sleeping children underneath.

This year, we have a tree. In a bucket. As I call it, our little tree in a bucket. tree-bucket Looks cute. Festive. (don’t mind the really outdated carpet)

An offspring and I saw a picture on that website that makes me feel lazy with all the crafting go on. However, we could do this. How hard could it be to stick a small Christmas tree in a bucket? Note to self: whenever those words are uttered, be afraid. Be very afraid.

The bucket. Check. The tree. Check. How to get said tree to stand straight in said bucket. Unchecked. I decided that was a husband job so I asked sent him down to the basement with high hopes of anything resembling a Styrofoam block would be found. “Use your inner MacGyver,” I said. “It will be fun,” I said as he muttered something while the door slammed closed.

Well, the MacGyver in all of us came up with a solution after the basement yielded zilch. I had purchased a tall container of planter rocks/stones. Yes, I just said I bought rocks/stones when I could have just walked outside and stole some from nature but we will talk about that in depth later.

The result? The tree “trunk” is jammed inside the tall container of rocks. The container of rocks is being held in place by an old tablecloth. And to hide all that ugly are cute tea towels.

We waited a few days to see if the tree would remain standing before stringing pretty little white lights on it. I can’t stop staring at its cuteness. Underneath, hidden away, is the ugly. On the outside it is all cute and stuff.

And then, the light bulb moment. It’s like us. We are all cute and stuff on the outside for all the world to see. Yet, deep in us is the ugly we do not want anyone to see. We all have something. Pride, jealousy, tendency to gossip yet call it venting (note to self: ouch!), negativity, anger…just to name a few.

Now when I look at our cute little tree in a bucket I find myself seeing the cute yet examining my “inside ugly”. I’m far, far, far, far, far from perfect. Yet, I know God sees and knows all my ugly and loves me anyway.

…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4



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