Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Delaware Community Rallied Around Lowly ‘Christmas Weed’

Many communities are forced to reckon with good things that somehow slip through the cracks. In Claymont, one of those things ended up as a blessing.

The New Castle County community has developed a quarter-century-long tradition around a quirky piece of folklore—the humble Claymont Christmas Weed, which locals decorate every year. Despite its diminutive size and unorthodox locale, it has become a defining centerpiece of the Claymont holiday celebration.

It started back on a slow news day in 1993, when a local newspaper photographer captured an image of a wild fir tree growing out of the cracked pavement of Philadelphia Pike. Neighbors and motorists in passing had adorned it with a few modest ornaments, and the image of the plucky—dubbed “the Christmas weed” in the headline—did the early 90s equivalent of going viral.

Unfortunately, the photo caught the eye of officials at the Delaware Department of Transportation, who considered it a potential traffic hazard and scheduled it for prompt removal. The DOT’s Scroogelike response escalated a community outcry; not only was it promptly replaced several times, but a reporter wrote a sentimental fable about it that was well-received by the general public.

Twenty-five years later, Claymont celebrates the weed with a literal parade of cheerleaders, marching bands, and fire trucks. Resident Barbara Harbin, who organizes the festivities, understands the appeal.

"We say it represents Claymont. We're not pretty, but we're plucky. We are resilient, and we keep coming back."

Potential Preaching Angles:

One secret of Christmas joy is that blessings come from unexpected places in unexpected form. The young, the vulnerable, the rejected... those tend to be the vessels that God chooses for his glory.


Patricia Talorico, “Claymont Christmas Weed has a Wacky, 25-year History,” Delaware Online (11-28-18)

Related Sermon Illustrations

LeBron James and the Good News for 'Great People'

On June 19, 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by their superstar LeBron James, clawed their way back from a three game to one deficit, won three games in a row, and became pro basketballs ...

[Read More]

15th-Century Ming Dynasty Bowl Discovered at Yard Sale

A small bowl bought for just $35 at a yard sale in Connecticut has turned out to be a rare 15th-Century Chinese artefact. The white porcelain bowl was spotted by an unidentified antiques ...

[Read More]