Trimming the Christmas tree changes a lonely heart

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Relocated Southerner Logan, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this article. I find myself completely alone for Christmas this year for the first time in my life. Both of my children are grown and married and spending this holiday with their in-laws. I almost did NOT put up my Christmas tree this year because I thought -- much the same as the author of the article -- for whom? And then I realized it was for ME. As I sat and looked at the lights (before the tree was completely decorated), I felt a wonderful sense of peace and calm. Then when I pulled out the decorations and reflected on the different memories associated with each, I had such fun and delight. I did decorate my house, and I LIVE for Christmas, but putting up the tree seemed to be such a hassle. I'm so glad I did it. It brought the entire room together and joy to my heart that the other decorations alone could not have done. Thanks for reminding us of the sweet memories available to us if we will stop for a few minutes.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Dear Barry,

    Thanks for your response. I tend to view the world from my perspective, and I'm sorry to hear that you had to endure what you did. In my case, my first wife left me because I didn't live up to her unreasonable expectations of near-perfection, and I endured a non-ending daily stream of verbal criticism. When she filed for divorce, she emptied my bank account, maxed out our credit cards, leaving me not only homeless but penniless as well. The loss of my children and the oppressive burden of child support and alimony left me in a state of despair for many months, during which time three men in a situation similar to my own took their lives. I have watched helplessly from the sidelines as my children turned to drugs and immoral lifestyles, due in part to the example she set.

    I have since remarried and have been blessed with two beautiful children, but can't help but wonder what would have happened had I been awarded custody.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
    The Walker

  • bj Utah Riverton, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Hi, I am Barry Ewell, the author of the article. I wanted to comment on The Wallkers comment. Can a 12 year old boy know the intents of a divorced father. No not totally. Allow me to share what I did know at the age of 12. I had seen my father beat my mother physically, mentally, and verbally many times. Every time my parents argued, I was beat and kicked from the age of five till 11 when they divorced. At the drop of hat, I could be back handed, spanked with a belt or verbally belittled with a barrage of four letter words. On this Christmas I wanted to leave my presents at dad's for when I came to visit, I was threaten with beating if I didn't take them home. My father never paid child support, he told us that openly. I feared my father. I feel sorrow for your loss. May your children know a righteous, caring, and loving father that I didn't fully experience until he was alone, feeble and needed my help to exist in this life.

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 1:00 a.m.

    Having gone through a divorce and having my children taken from me by the State, I find it difficult to read how as a boy this man seemed to know how his father felt. I humbly submit that he didn't have a clue about what it feels like to have everything that you cherish taken from you in a day, and to be locked out of your children's lives and to have little left except a stack of bills.

    Hopefully this man will one day come to realize, in some small way, what his father went through and perhaps why he felt the way he did.

    Dec. 22, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    There has to be a method in Barry Ewell's "madness". Personal histories are very valuable and I'm betting this reflection on Ewell Christmas traditions will find a place in the annals of Ewell Family History.
    Here's one that just happened to me. I've had difficulty this year getting all our Christmas yard art up due to the cold, the snow, and not enough time to convert Thanksgiving ones to Christmas. But I had a high school girl just this past Friday tell me how her family always spent Christmas in Mexico--not at the beach, but serving children in a Mexican orphanage; making sure they had a wonderful Christmas--which often consists in just getting some of the necessities supplied. She explained how their annual trip has made a difference in her life, and now, it can make a difference in my sullen outlook this year!

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Wonderful story, complete with a missionary far away tidbit. Thank you for sharing!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    I loved the spirit of Christmas past. Good heart ed. Good memories. It's been a wail since since I've gone by the house where my wife and I planted our first Christmas Tree, a small live tree in the back of the house. Last time I saw it, it was towering over that home. Time goes buy fast. It seems like yesterday we planted it in the spring of our first year of marriage. I don't know what I'd do with out her. This is a line from a song I'd sing to that girl I married over 3 decades ago.