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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

The Christmas Tree and the Shepherds

In the great mystery of Christmas and its beautiful traditions, there is a pious legend that at the Nativity of Christ, the shepherds brought Him fruits and flowers as a token of their devotion to the Christ Child. The plants that were chosen rejoiced as they were chosen to be presented to their Maker. But the shepherds had not plucked anything from the fir tree because the spiky cones and needle-like leaves did not seem a worthy gift. The fir tree, realizing it was unworthy of the the shepherds' consideration, quietly pleaded,

"My newly-born God, what can I offer Thee? I offer you my poor and unworthy existence. This I gladly give You in gratitude for You having created me in Your wisdom and goodness."

The fir tree's modesty pleased God, so he rewarded it by having a plethora of tiny stars descended from heaven to decorate it. Numerous hues of gold, silver, red, blue, and so forth were represented by the stars. Because nothing like it had ever been seen before, a band of shepherds who happened to be passing by plucked the fir tree in its entirety in addition to the other plants' fruits. As a result, the fir tree wound up serving as a centerpiece in the Bethlehem grotto, right next to the Nativity Scene, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph!


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