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Advent Giving Tree

We all have Christmas traditions with regards to our Christmas trees.  Some do not put the Christmas tree up until the night before Christmas while others start putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving!  Decorations and lights have become an integral part of the tradition with school homemade, store bought and many precious hand-me-downs.

What are some of the legends associated with the Christmas tree?  Here are just a few.

Saint Boniface, a Christian Monk, used to spread Christianity amongst the pagans in England and Germany.  One day, he struck down a huge oak tree in Germany, which was believed to be an object of pagan worship.  The German pagans were positive that St. Boniface would be struck down dead by their pagan god.  As the tree fell to the ground, it splintered and from within it, a fir tree sprung up. The monk declared the fir tree to be the ‘Holy Tree’, a symbol of endless love, peace as well as the Christ Child.

Another legend states that once there lived a poor woodsman who found a lost and hungry child in the woods. As it was Christmas Eve, the woodsman took the child to his hut and gave him food and shelter. When the woodsman woke up the next morning, he found a beautiful sparkling tree outside the door in his yard. He realized that the child was Christ himself in disguise and that He created the tree to thank and reward the woodsman for the noble deed.

There are other legends which are associated with the Christmas tree and its origin.   Whatever the truth may be, the Christmas tree is an integral part of our Christmas celebration and will remain so for decades to come.

As we enter the Advent season, we are called to revive our awareness that God provided us a gift!  A precious gift of His son, Our Lord – Jesus Christ, whose coming into this world is remembered each year as we display ad decorate our Christmas trees.

A tradition we have at Our Lady of the Lake Parish is sponsoring an Advent Giving Tree.  As the poor woodsman picked up a lost child in the cold we have an opportunity to pick up an ornament that will be helping those less fortunate within our community.

Our outreach this year is supporting The Hope House, Helping Hands, Ozark Rehab, and the area Schools. The ornaments will be located in our Lady of the Lake vestibule and side entrances after the Masses on 14/15 and 21/22 November.  Ornaments in large font will be placed on top of tables to easily read without having to pick them up individually.  Once choosing the person you want to sponsor, you then get the gifts and return wrapped by December 6 to the Church.  Additional information will be forthcoming in the bulletins. 

What a beautiful way to bring joy and make Christmas brighter through the Spirit of the newborn Christ Child.   Blessings for your support – Dcn Jim.