How a lone cedar tree helps make holidays beautiful

By Lynn Moncus: QCS columnist

Mrs. Roberta Waterman, a special friend, has struck again and has decorated a lone cedar on Highway 209 so all passersby can see a beautiful Christmas tree against the background of the distant mesas.

Although “Bert” doesn’t want a whole lot of recognition for her efforts, she explains she receives her main Christmas gifts from people who drive by while she is at work. She says they honk, wave and smile. Those smiles just automatically make her work worthwhile because they are real gifts we can give each other. To hear her talk about the time she spends there and to watch her eyes certainly lets people know how much pleasure she has as she receives those gifts and that she knows she brings to those people who show their sunrise when they see a lone tree so beautifully adorned.

Each year, she collects as many old ornaments as she can find and saves them for her special day. She needs to keep collecting because the wind tends to blow some away and to break others. She also worries that many of the ornaments fall to the ground and are not re-hung. Well, some of us can tell her that we check periodically and re-hang as many as we find. In the event you haven’t done that, you might consider stopping the next time you pass by to help keep the tree beautiful throughout the season.

Even though “Bert” says she receives the main gifts by decorating that tree, she is giving each of us a gift when we drive pass because we tend to slow down at the sight of the colorful decorations and think about Christmas and Christ’s birth. Seeing that lone tree amid the natural beauty of Quay Valley also evokes memories as we drive along and recall the beautiful trees we had long before we had any lights on them. Simplicity really brings out the beauty and lets us recall stories of the many Christmas celebrations through the years since Christ’s birth.

We can recall the times when we made most out of our own decorations and placed them on the trees in our homes as well as on the trees in our classrooms. A few people burned candles on theirs, but most of us enjoyed looking at them by lamp light as we sat around pulling taffy, eating popcorn, or just listening to our parents reading Christmas stories. We felt most fortunate to have a gift or two under the tree and to have an orange and some ribbon candy in our stockings. We knew we were loved and knew why we were celebrating throughout the Christmas season.

Those of you who know “Bert” know that she doesn’t hesitate to speak her thoughts, and she wants everyone to know she decorated a “Christmas tree.” When I mentioned that I might write about her in this column, she was empathetic when she said to be sure to wish everyone a Merry Christmas to thank all of you who have smiled as you have driven by that tree.