Tuesday 10 December 2013

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story


Ruthie and her family live in the Appalachians in North Carolina in wartime.  This Christmas it is their turn to provide the villagers with a Christmas tree.  Ruthie and her father had ridden up Grandfather Mountain that Spring to pick a tree.  However, that summer, he was called to the Front to fight.  Ruthie's family is short on money; they can't afford new clothes and toys.  It is enough just to put food on the table.  Christmas Eve arrives but still Ruthie's father has not returned.  A fellow villager has offered to provide a tree.  However, Ruthie's mother insists that they will keep their word.  That night, under darkness, Ruthie and her mother ride on horseback up the mountain to find the perfect tree.  They sneak into Pine Grove Church and assemble it, unnoticed.  Christmas morning arrives and the villagers are surprised to see the tree standing proudly in the middle of their church.  They are treated to a Christmas play in which Ruthie performs the role of the angel.  Afterwards the children are given a decoration from the tree; Ruthie gets the angel.  She is so enthralled with her present, she doesn't notice her father standing in the doorway.  As she wraps her arms around him, the villagers sing "Silent Night".


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