The Christmas tree, the greatest symbol of Christmas is an evergreen tree, representing life. The custom of erecting a Christmas tree can be historically traced to 15th century. “The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there are a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. 
The branches on the evergreen tree, remind us of the many roles we have in our lives such as parenting, grandparenting, etc. They also remind us of all the relationships we have with our family, friends, neighbors, our careers, hobbies, activities, sports etc. As we submit, each of these branches to God He will adorn them with ornaments, as He develops our character, with the fruit of the Spirit.
Let’s look at the ornaments as representing the fruit of the Spirit. If we accept God’s unconditional LOVE in our hearts allowing His love to flow through us to others it will give us JOY. Our hearts will be full of joy amidst the daily challenges in our lives because “The joy of the Lord will be our strength.” 2 When we experience the joy of the Lord as our strength, we will havepeace. PEACE is calmness in our hearts amidst the challenges we face, extending through our lives to others. After our adorning with love, joy, and peace, we will be empowered with PATIENCE, an attitude that does not lose hope for others even if they irritate or hurt us. KINDNESS expressed with our words and deeds to a sad or lonely heart may be their connection for Jesus. Then GOODNESS will flow into good works from our kind heart reflecting the character of God attracting others to Jesus.
Another ornament placed on the tree is FAITHFULNESS. Just as God is faithful to us, it is important that we too are dependable and trustworthy at all times. Faithfulness brings us to GENTLENESS, an ability to be pleasant, composed and controlled in the daily challenges of life. The last ornament we will place on the tree is SELF-CONTROL, which adorns our lives with the character of strength to restrain us from doing wrong. We cannot have self-control without all the other ornaments. Then the tree will be wrapped with a garland of God’s righteousness and the star will be placed on the top directing people to Jesus. We will plug in the lights illuminating the tree representing Jesus the light of the world, a symbol of hope. Just as we have beautiful Christmas trees in our homes, our lives will be beautiful when adorned with the fruit of the spirit.
This year let’s give our grandchildren a spiritual application of the Christmas tree representing everlasting life adorned with the ornaments of the fruit of the Spirit, wrapped with the garland of God’s love, the star directing others to Jesus, and shining as lights in a dark world.
Pray that your grandchildren will stand as a symbol of hope in a dark world adorned in strength and beauty of the fruit of the spirit like the beautiful Christmas tree. The greatest and most lasting Christmas gift you can give your grandchildren is the gift of a praying grandparent.
By Lillian Penner
¹ Christmas tree, Wikipedia
2 Nehemiah 8:10
© 2014 Lillian Penner