Long, long ago, in a land far away, lived a perfect little tree
named Small Pine.
Small Pine hoped to maintain its perfect form and be selected by the Queen as her Christmas tree.
But as the warmhearted little tree gave shelter to birds, rabbits, and deer in the forest, its branches became damaged.
Fortunately, the Queen had a different idea of perfection.
The Queen, Queen's family and all the villagers said that Small Pine was the finest Christmas tree yet.
For in looking at its drooping, nibbled branches, they saw the protecting arm of their father or the comforting lap of a mother.
And some, like the wise Queen saw the love of Christ expressed on earth.
So if you walk among evergreens today, you will find, along with rabbits, birds and other happy living things, many trees like Small Pine.
You will see a drooping limb which gives cover, a gap offering a warm resting place, or branches ragged from feeding hungry animals.
For, as have many of us, the trees have learned that living for the sake of others makes us most beautiful in the eyes of God.