Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree,
How steadfast are your branches!
Your boughs are green in summer’s clime
And through the snows of wintertime.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree,
How steadfast are your branches!

Maybe it’s the steadfast branches.  They are strong and easily support the ornaments, some heavy (especially those that the kids made when they were in elementary school) and others so very delicate (like my daughter’s favorite Wedgwood Figure Skater). The branches support the sparkling lights and precious glass. The arms are strong and steady, unwavering.

Or maybe it’s the green of the Christmas tree in winter that I love.  There’s something magical about having a green tree standing tall inside your dining room while the cold, dark winter whirls around outside, most trees bare of any color or leaves. Just dark pencil marks against a cold, gray sky.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree,
What happiness befalls me when oft
at joyous Christmas-time
Your form inspires my song and rhyme.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree,
What happiness befalls me.

Of course it could be the happiness that comes with Christmas.  The feeling of the family together celebrating traditions that have been going on in this family for hundreds of years.  Maybe this is what I’m hanging on to.  And there’s the joy I feel every morning and every evening when I plug in the lights and the tree glistens in the dark.  There is happiness in the light.  The presents are gone and the family has dispersed, but the light remains.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort through all time.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson.

I’m not a religious person, but I am spiritual and eternally hopeful.  Maybe the tree does signify a sense of hope and optimism.  The world is cold and dark, and the days are short, but we have a tree inside our house.  A tree, still filled with ornaments of years gone by.  Ornaments from my parents and grandparents, ornaments the kids made when they were little, ornaments from almost every trip we have ever taken. There is the knowledge that next year we will gather again to place these ornaments, and hopefully a few new ones from trips we will take in 2019, to a new, but similar, tree.

I’m not exactly sure why I continue to keep the Christmas tree up and lit well after the holidays have passed, but I know it brings me strength, happiness, and hope. That’s reason enough for me.



5 thoughts on “Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum”

  1. This made me picture you sitting in your house, by the tree. I’m so quick to pack it all up… move on. I admire your ability to savor it all. But what about the pine needles?!?

    1. The needles are still healthy and on the tree. We water it regularly, and it seems really healthy! That’s another reason I don’t have the heart to get rid of it.

  2. I love the tie in to the traditional song. Such a clever way to capture the emotions and thoughts of taking down your tree. One reason I hate taking the tree down is the empty space left where that tree stood. Its too much for many a winter, adding to that cold feeling.

  3. Wow, I am impressed! I admire your admiring the strength and symbolism of your tree and all the ornaments! Cool and creative structure to this slice – weaving of the lyrics and your writing! Keep us posted on the status of this tree! Maybe you’ll have to add some Valentines Day ornaments to it! Thanks for sharing!

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