This is my Christmas tree: an ancient, deceased cholla cactus (sans needles) that’s been brought back to life in the spirit of Charlie Brown. A Christmas Cholla.

But more than that, it’s a Gratitude Tree. For each day these past few weeks, I’ve adorned its knotty limbs with a paper tag, upon which I’ve written something for which I am grateful:

I am grateful for my friends

I am grateful for my awesome family

I am grateful for quiet mornings to write and paint and think and reflect

I am grateful for trees

I am grateful for birds

I am grateful for snowfall

And I am grateful to all of you who, despite relentlessly busy schedules, make the time to read my humble musings here. Knowing that you good people are out there curious about what I do and have to say, warms and inspires me.

Thank you.

Rather than me bringing this cactus back to life, I think it’s brought a certain quality of life back to me.