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The Tale of Three Trees, A Christmas Story


A book for Christmas and Easter, a timeless tale for anyday.

One of my favorite stories to read at Christmas is an American traditional folktale, The Tale of The Three Trees, as retold by Angela Elwell Hunt. I guess I had always considered it a Christmas story because of the symbolic references used with "the trees", and the fact that, traditionally, trees are just a part of our Christmas experience. Looking at the book anew, I have decided it is really also a story about Easter. For without Easter the Christmas story simply would not have much significance, now would it?

Our dreams can be realized, but not always as we might expect.

The story begins by telling of three trees, who dream of what their life will be like. Each has an idea of what they would like to become or do. Just as we have goals set and things we would like to do and become, the trees find out, like we do, the process of becoming might be a little different than what we might expect.


The first tree desired to be a treasure box and ends up as a mere feeding trough.

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2: 1-7


The second desired to be a strong sailing ship, and ultimately becomes a small fishing boat, carrying stinking fish.

"And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"

Matthew 8:23-27


The third who wanted to remain planted and point Heavenward, as the tallest tree in the forest, is made into lumber that is fashioned into a cross.

"And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left." Matthew 27: 32-38

What appears to be unanswered dreams really are fulfilled with Jesus Christ.

At first glimpse their individual dreams seem to be unanswered. This is an illustration of one of my favorite scriptures, 1 Samuel 16:7, "for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

The Tale of Three Trees


The application of the Atonement, brings blessings to our lives.

Although each one of the trees reaches their potential in the end, their dreams are only made possible because of the gift of the Atonement. Their dreams are realized in full, but not in the way that they imagined. We are reminded that God is ever mindful of us and that he has a work for each of us to do that is glorious and beautiful, that is part of His magnificent plan. I can liken that to myself, in that my dreams can only be made a reality through the application of the Atonement in my life.

Mor Books By Angela Hunt

How to make our dreams realities...

True happiness is only available when we submit to the will of God, The Father, and align our will with His will. This submission requires us to remove pride from our lives and become meek, humble, teachable and willing to submit to all things that are given to us, whether they are in the form of blessings or trials.

This is exactly the path that Jesus Christ followed as he blessed the world with His ultimate sacrifice. Through his death and resurrection, He overcame the "world" and gave us the opportunity to do the same, as we follow Him.

As we learn to abide by the ways of the Lord and not lean on the "arm of flesh", we will come to understand that man's ways are not God's ways. As we learn to do as directed in the book of Proverbs , "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths", our ways will become His ways and all our dreams will be made beautiful realities.

The Full Story

  • The Christmas Story is about Christ
    by In The Doghouse Without the Birth, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, there really wouldn't be an Easter Story. This HUB offers commentary on the events and symbols used to depict this great act of love.
  • Easter: The Day Death Died
    by Rob Jundt A short summary behind the real meaning of Easter and the significance it holds for all of us


Sandy J Duncan from Kansas City, Kansas on January 11, 2014:

This was very beautifully written. All 5 of our children loved the Tale of the Three Trees. Keep up the great ministry in sharing Jesus with others.

Llil T on October 23, 2012:

This is a great story. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for posting it.

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Orson on February 17, 2012:

This story makes my christmas

Annette R. Smith from Ocala, Florida on December 13, 2011:

What a great gift idea ... for Christmas, Easter, or any time of year, really. Thank you for providing us with more information about the book, the author, and the story. May your Christmas be beautiful and blessed!

bella on March 02, 2011:

I saw this movie in my class, in my school, it was a very nice story.

I am doing a report on it, and doing some research and all!

Very nice story!


Lily on October 30, 2010:

Thank you so much for this reminder that God's ways are not man's ways! May we all learn to trust in Him and not lean upon our own understanding.

Loved the story of the three trees...very touching and inspiring.

Your hub was most informative and helpful, much appreciated. I don't have the book yet but plan to buy it and share it with my grandchildren!

Blessings to all. Lily

Barbara Bethard from Tucson, Az on October 29, 2010:

great review/never heard of this story but I found your CD/favourite spot of mine/barnes and noble of course! here's the link

deepanjana on March 30, 2010:

Wonderful review.. loved your words!

Chin chin from Philippines on December 08, 2009:

I love this story. It teaches a lot of priceless truth. I think I have seen an animated version of this. Great review.

Sciantel on June 01, 2009:

I loved your hub. I too have a Christian witness to proclaim! Check out my hubs.

Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on December 18, 2008:

I have never read this before. Thank you. It is beautiful. I might have to buy it to read to the kids (and myself!).

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on December 06, 2008:

Hi Diana, whether it is for Christmas or Easter this one is truly a beautiful and timeless story. I am bookmarking this hub so I could read and re-read this one. :)

Mormon Soprano on October 14, 2008:

I've always loved this story. The Video retelling is really nice. Thanks for putting all of this together

pjdscott from Durham, UK on October 11, 2008:

A lovely hub - your pont about Christmas relating to Easter is a very valid one. It's nice to be reminded of Christian values... they keep life in perspective...

In The Doghouse (author) from California on October 10, 2008:


With all that is happening in the world today, I just felt that this was a good time to reintroduce this Hub. It is one of hope and peace. As a Christian I know where I can turn for that peace that is so often lost in everyday life. I love the fact that if we will submit to the will of our Father we can become something beautiful. His plans are better than ours. This is my favorite Christmas/Easter story, and everyday message. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

allshookup from The South, United States on October 10, 2008:

Dog, I love this story. I got it in an email earlier this week. Give me goosebumps and tears. There's no limit to what God can do with us if we let Him. When you see something happen for Him then you look at it and realize that you have had a small part in it, it's the most awesome feeling! If we would only allow God to use us more, what a wonderful world this would be! He's just waiting on us to let Him. Thank you for posting this. It's a great hub! Very inspiring. We need more of them.

In The Doghouse (author) from California on October 10, 2008:


I hope you enjoyed this Christmas Story. I just think that if we start preparing now, maybe we can have Christmas in our hearts for a longer period of time. This is one of my favorite stories about the Savior Jesus Christ. Kids and adults of all ages love it. I can't read it without crying every time... Yes, He was carrying the King of Heaven and earth!

solarshingles from london on October 10, 2008:

What a beautiful story, text of hub, video and strong symbolic! Diena thank you to send me The Tale of Three Trees. 'He was carrying The King of heaven and earth...'

In The Doghouse (author) from California on March 22, 2008:


You will love the book, I am sure of that! Thanks for your comments.

commentonthis7 on March 22, 2008:

i've never have read this book i've have to read it great hub

In The Doghouse (author) from California on March 20, 2008:


I too, have always considered it a Christmas story, but why not bring it out for Easter as well. Thank you for stopping by. Happy Easter to you also.

In The Doghouse (author) from California on March 20, 2008:


This is an incredible book, one that brings tears to my eyes each time I read it. Please do try and read the story.

sdorrian from Chicago on March 20, 2008:

Great Hub. I love this book! I gave it to my nephew for Christmas last year. Happy Easter!

cgull8m from North Carolina on March 20, 2008:

I haven't read this book, sounds good, will check it out. People should read more books like this instead of horror and wizadry type of stories.

In The Doghouse (author) from California on March 18, 2008:


No problem, I enjoyed your Hub and thought it went very nicely with this one. Thank you for your nice remarks. Happy Easter to you as well.

Rob Jundt from Midwest USA on March 18, 2008:

Very nice as usual. I love your grounding in the faith and sound doctrine. I always enjoy reading your work. Peace. Thanks for the link as well. Happy Easter!

In The Doghouse (author) from California on March 18, 2008:


Thank you for your compliments. I do love this book.

Kathryn Skaggs from Southern California on March 18, 2008:

A very nice book review - on a lovely book for Easter...



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