The Christmas Tree by Julie Salaman

Salamon, Julie. The Christmas Tree. New York: Randam House. 1996.

🙂 🙂 🙂

(Note, books are rated from one to five smiley faces, one being a book I didn’t like very much, and five being a book  I loved.)

Call me a sentimental old fool. I basically figured out where this one was going from the moment I began reading it. Still, by the end, I found myself getting a bit choked up.

This certainly isn’t the best written Christmas tale out there, but it was one that tapped into my interests. I am someone who has always enjoyed making a trip to Rockefeller Center in New York City at Christmas time to see the magnificent tree (something that was much easier to do when I lived so close in Connecticut but which I have still managed to do since moving to Pennsylvania). This book was enlightening in its descriptions of what goes on in securing that special tree, which I am assuming, despite its being fiction, pretty much describes the reality of how it’s done.

The story revolves around the chief gardener from Rockefeller Center who is responsible for finding the Christmas tree every year. One year, he discovers the perfect tree in New Jersey, only to find that it resides on the property of a convent and that one nun, who was orphaned as a young child and basically grew up with that tree, is particularly fond of it and reluctant to let it go.

It’s a story about nature, spirituality, the ways that city life and country life intertwine. Although I would not say it is, necessarily, all the things people might call a Christmas story: “beautiful”, “original”, “magical”, I will say that it is what most would want out of a Christmas story, which is “heartwarming”.

It’s short. It’s definitely worth sitting down with some cold December evening, hot cider or cocoa on hand. Light the fire. Wrap yourself up in a blanket, and expect to get at least a small lump in your throat by the end. Just what the doctor ordered to take you away from all the “busy-ness” of shopping, Christmas card writing, and parties.