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The Magic Tree



They stood in the snow; Lucille, her brother Henry, and their dog Foxy. The tree on Mr. Livingston's lawn was a Christmas mystery, even Foxy, who knew a little about trees, thought there was something special about this one.

"Where does the light come from?" Lucille wanted to know.

"I don't know -- some kind of trick I guess." Henry shrugged. There were no strings of lights like there should be. There were no wires leading to the house. The light seemed to be coming from inside the tree.

"You don't suppose it's magic, do you?" Lucille asked.

"Course it ain't magic. It's a trick, there's an answer to everything." Henry, of course, knew everything. He was two years older than Lucille and no longer believed in Santa Claus. He had already decided he was going to be an astronaut when he grew up.

The two of them stood in the snow, outside Mr. Livingston's house on Christmas Eve. His spruce tree seemed to be glowing with multi-colored lights, even though none could be seen. Mr. Livingston was the organist in the Methodist Church across the street. He was an old man, one of those old men who never seem to grow up.

As they stood there trying to figure it out, Mr. Livingston opened his front door. "Pretty thing to see, isn't it kids?" He called out to them. He put on a coat and a muffler and came out to stand with them. "It gets better every year," he smiled.

Lucille stood there open-mouthed in wonder. Foxy sat down in the snow and stared at it. Henry couldn't understand it and couldn't see any beauty in it either. "I don't know how it works," he said. "How can there be light without lights?"

"It's magic," Lucille said. "It's got to be magic. If you listen real hard you can hear Christmas carols too."

"Must be loud speakers hidden inside," Henry grumbled.

"You've got to believe, it's as simple as that," Mr. Livingston said. "Don't you believe in Christmas, Henry?"

Henry, all of ten years old, figured he was past the age of believing in things like Christmas. He was a whiz in science class and he was sure there was a reason for everything. He watched television every day, and he was well aware of what a big business Christmas was. He even had doubts concerning the star of Bethlehem which had drawn the wise men from the East; it sounded like a tall story to him. Mr. Livingston's tree couldn't be magic, there had to be a trick somewhere.

"I didn't believe when I was your age either, Henry. But I learned. The older you get, the more you have to believe. Take a look around you, Henry. The church across the street, the house on the corner, the town you live in. None of these things could be here without people believing."

"But the light," Henry asked. "What about the light?"

"It's a gift, Henry. God gave us the light. Believe in it. Seeing is believing."

The End

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