by Bob Wickizer

The End or The Beginning?
Bob Wickizer
Isaiah 9:2-4,6-7
December 24, 2005

Year after year Christmas always seemed to be the same for the Wilson family. The three children grew a little older each year. Mom and Dad seemed to grow a lot older each year. Dad was a lumberjack in Oregon so every year he loaded up the family in his beat up timber truck. They would drive those muddy mountain roads for hours where his company had been cutting big trees until they would spot the one perfect tree for their small house outside of town. The family made the annual tree cutting a great outing with a picnic and hot chocolate. Many years it was raining but no one paid any attention. This was Oregon after all.

This year would be different. Dad had an accident that nearly broke his back. A huge tree split before being cut through and although it missed him when it came crashing down, the branches were so large they knocked him to the ground with a terrible force. The company was as generous as they could be but without health insurance the family's savings and meager bank accounts were depleted. This year Mom would make gifts for the two boys and their baby sister.

There was no money for a store bought Christmas tree and with Dad barely able to walk, there was no way they could drive into the forest to cut their own. Besides, Dad's truck had been sold to help pay for expenses. Joe, the younger brother hiked into the woods on his own and brought back the biggest branch he could find. Although Dad scolded him for going alone, he was proud of his son for such self reliance. Together the children put the branch in the tree stand and decorated it.

Mom had taken a second part time job at the factory nearby. She worked eight hours at the mall selling women's clothing, came home to have supper with the family and then worked a four hour shift at the factory. During the holidays her mall job asked her to work overtime so she arranged to push her factory work e ...

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