O CHRISTMAS TREE

Author's note: Main characters not mine. Just a little Holiday something while I'm working on the next installment of my 'Liz' chapter, which I hope to have posted soon.

O Christmas Tree

A secret military base somewhere in New Mexico

Little Hellboy stared up at the beautifully decorated evergreen tree, especially admiring the large brightly colored lights. Just as he had been admonished, though, he was careful not to touch.

He had just come in from playing outside. There had been an unexpected and unusual snowstorm; and the off-duty personnel on the base couldn't wait to let the young demon experience his first real encounter with snow. Hellboy had gone from his late December 'birth' on a rainy island off the coast of Scotland to living near an American desert; he was more than fascinated with the fluffy white stuff.

Trevor Broom had been off attempting to purchase some Christmas presents with what little money he could spare from the fledgling Bureau's budget. Driving back to the base had been a little messy due to the suddenly muddy, slippery roads--in an area that had little experience in dealing with snowfalls.

In due course, the personnel who had been playing with Hellboy had to return to their duties. Hellboy, trailing wet clothing and mud back into the bungalow, had then gone into the sitting room to plug in the lights on Broom's traditional tree and admire it.

One part of Trevor Broom was annoyed with the mess that he found in the hallway and sitting room of the bungalow he worked so hard to keep neat. Having given his assistant, Paul, some time off for the holidays left him with more work than usual and he really didn't need the mess. Yet, the other part of him was filled with nothing but joy at his adopted son's enraptured gaze at the tree he had just set up that very morning.

Hellboy turned toward the door of the sitting room as he heard Trevor Broom walk in.

"Father, it's real pretty; but what's it mean?"

Coming to sit on the rug next to where Hellboy was standing, Trevor Broom gathered him into his lap; muddy boots, wet clothing, and all. Expertly tucking Hellboy's enormous right hand out of the way, Broom gazed up with him at the tree; his heart filled with memories of his own childhood and family traditions before the deaths of his younger sisters destroyed his parent's marriage.

Somehow, the many directions his life had taken in the years after that devastating loss had never caused him to expect he would ever be able to share these traditions with a child of his own.

"Son, the decorating of trees in late December is a tradition of ancient origins, dating back to even before the birth of Jesus. Yet, the symbolism of this tradition fits in very well with the Holiday we are celebrating tomorrow. The evergreen tree speaks to us of life that is eternal. The use of lights, traditionally live candles, now electric, speaks of light that will shine even in the dark nights of the shortest days of the year and tells of the promise of eternal light. The beautiful ornaments show the hope of spring that always comes after winter; for us, the hope of the resurrection to come."

Hellboy giggled, "All that from a tree?"

Kissing his forehead, Trevor Broom smiled, "Yes, Son; all that from a mere tree. That is the nature of a true miracle; how the great can spring from the very small and eternal life spring from death."

"It's still pretty," Hellboy mumbled sleepily, as he snuggled closer into his father's embrace.

"Yes, very pretty." Closing his eyes, Trevor Broom contemplated the small miracle that had come to him on the day before Christmas Eve just a few years before. Worrying about the mud and mess tracked in the hallway and sitting room could come later; much later, he decided.

Merry Christmas to all, Beth Palladino

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