I cannot remember the last time I watched a movie that didn’t make me cry. It is a weakness I’ve always had. But ever since giving birth to my first child (exactly five years ago today), the water works button on the back of my eyeballs has become overly sensitive. I find myself getting teared up at non-Hallmark commercials and shows like The Biggest Loser or more recently, The Voice.
So of course my new-found trigger-happy emotional gun does not exclude things like books. Weirdly, I can remember the first book that made me cry. It was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, in 7th grade. (This makes two mentions of my 7th grade English teacher’s influence on my reading addiction.) I only recently admitted that I had a real problem though, when I found myself finishing Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and crying on a stationary bike in the middle of the fitness room at a very crowded YMCA.
This story, The Tale of Three Trees, is my favorite Christmas story. I’m sure I heard it as a child in Sunday school or perhaps at summer camp, but ran across a paperback version at the Scholastic Book Fair one year in college, and started reading it every Christmas season to whoever would listen.
No matter how many times I’ve read this book (nor to whom) I always get choked up at the very same line…And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world… (No lie, tears in my eyes right now even as I type it.) Even knowing the line is coming up isn’t enough to emotionally prepare myself to hold it together. Two years ago I read the story in both Christmas Eve services at church and cried both times. (To my credit, the entire congregation cried too, and it was nothing short of magical.)
If you have children and you do not own this book, drop everything immediately and purchase it.