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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: The Pilgrim Tree
By Donna Powers


Once upon a time, there was an enchanted Christmas tree. Early in the morning, just as Christmas began, Angel called down to all of the other decorations: “Pssst! Wake up! It’s time!”

“Who. Is. That?” blinked the Lights.

“It’s me: Angel. It’s time!” She spread her wings and flew downward, trying to wake all of them.

“Oh, what fun!” babbled all the Ornaments.

“We’ll hold these silly things up for as long as we have to,” growled the Hooks.

“I will stretch my branches proudly. I may have stopped growing, but the Creator has given me a wondrous fragrance and an enduring beauty,” said Tree.

“Ready to serve, as always,” droned the Cloth underneath the Tree.

Tinsel wasn’t as eager. “Good grief, Angel. Do you know what time it is? I need my beauty sleep.”

“Stop. Your. Whining. Tinsel,” sputtered the Lights. “This. Is. Our. Destiny.”

“I’m fine just the way I am,” protested Tinsel. “My shine makes this tree special.”

Angel was firm. “All of you must listen. We have only a few minutes before the Pilgrim family wakes up, so we don’t have much time. We’ve been chosen remind them of the meaning of Christmas. God brought His precious Son into the world many years ago, and this family is celebrating His birth today, but all of them have other things on their mind. The Father wonders how he’ll pay for food and rent, because he couldn’t resist buying expensive gifts. The Mother is tired of her boring job, and wishes she could afford to go back to school. Tyler is trying to say “no” to so-called friends who want him to smoke marijuana with them, and Katie doesn’t understand her math homework but is too embarrassed to ask for help.”

”So we dig in and hurt them,” snarled the Hooks.

“No,” protested Angel. “I know you have the ability to hurt, but for tonight you are only hangers. Just as the nails on the Savior’s Cross pierced Him; yet helped save His followers from their transgressions.”

“Hold us up! Way up!” giggled the Ornaments.

Angel addressed them next. “You are pretty and festive, and you will cheer the family. But this morning, if you glitter with all your might, you can remind the family of the gifts that the Magi brought to the newborn King.”

The Ornaments nodded; “We can do it!” they clattered.

“What. About. Us?” asked the Lights.

”Jesus is the Light of the World!” answered Angel. “Your bright lights can bring knowledge of Him to the Pilgrim family.”

“We. Will. Shine. Brightly. For. Him,” they chorused.

Angel flew down to the ground, and landed on the Cloth. “There was a special cloth on that first Christmas. It wrapped the Savior as He lay in His mother’s arms. You can comfort the family as they enjoy their gifts; just as a cloth once comforted the Messiah.”

“I don’t have to be anything but what I am,” boasted Tinsel.

Angel shook her head. “You are lovely and everyone admires your sparkle,” she replied. “But all of us can do more for our Creator’s Sake. He gave His all for a world of sinners; each of us can surely give our all, in return. You are as shiny as a star, and can remind them of the Star which shone to herald Jesus’ birth.”

Tinsel swayed silently in remorse. “You are right. I can do more, and for His sake I’ll be the best I can be.”

She turned to the Tree and smiled sadly. “Your fragrance is lovely, like incense burned for God’s glory. But you are also a symbol of another Tree. Just as the Pilgrim family placed gifts underneath you last night, Our Creator placed the Ultimate Gift on that other Tree – and thus gave mankind the best Gift of all: Salvation.”

Angel flew swiftly up to the top as she reminded them: “You are not alone in doing your utmost for His Sake, this morning. I will stand for God’s glory; to remind the family of the angels that announced His birth to the shepherds, on that holy night so long ago.”

She stood proudly on top of the tree, and sang out: “Let’s give it our best, group! I hear them coming now! Let’s go! Together we can make this a very special Christmas morning!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynn Jacky 10/16/08
Hi - What an interesting way to write you story. Loved it! Especially the Hook - to hurt them - great laugh - You have a special gift for writing . Thank you for sharing. I will be remembering this story on Christmas morning.
Seema Bagai 10/16/08
I enjoyed this piece a lot. Creative and well-written.
Chrissi Dunn10/17/08
What a great object lesson! I especially liked the Christmas lights' speech - Very. Enjoyable. Story!
Celeste Ammirata10/23/08
What a wonderful story! I love the way the angel swept down for the inspirational pep talk. And how the lights blinked out one word sentences. Very nice. Congratulations on being Highly Commended. A well deserving piece.
Sheri Gordon10/23/08
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. Nice, creative entry for the topic.