Friday, December 14, 2012

Tree Tradition

Our little family loves traditions.  Well, okay, let me be honest; I love traditions.  Since I'm the mama, that means we love traditions.

When it comes to the holidays, we have a tradition for just about everything.  Our Christmas tree tradition is extra-special to me.  I grew up putting together the fake tree every year; tree tradition included dad hauling the tree box out of the attic or the basement and then sitting on the floor as a family making color-coded piles of branches while my mom straightened them and made them perfect, all while listening to Christmas tapes (yes, tapes) in the background.

I can still feel the dusty scratchiness on my fingers now!

I kid about the fake tree, but they really do have their merits.  They certainly save a lot of money and a lot of mess.  And the memories really are special to me.  But for my own family, I wanted to do a "real" tree.  And I wanted to chop it down.

So, starting with our second year of marriage (the first year we borrowed a little fake tree from my mom because there was simply no affording any tree at all) our annual family Christmas tree tradition is to chop down a Christmas tree as a family.  It goes something like this, every single year:

Day after Thanksgiving:  Start thinking about the Christmas tree; where to get it, when to get it.

Sunday after Thanksgiving:  Decide to chop down a tree.  Realize that most tree places don't open until December 1st.

First weekend in December:  Go on the inevitable youth retreat.  No matter what youth group we're currently working with, there seems to always be a retreat the first weekend of December.

Sunday of first weekend in December:  Get home too late to go to tree chopping place.  Decide to go next weekend.

Tuesday morning after first weekend in December:  Panic because everyone is posting pictures of their beautiful trees on facebook/instagram/blogs/twitfaceplaceogspace.  Call husband and demand to find a tree immediately because clearly we are missing Christmas.

Tuesday evening after first weekend in December:  Husband can't get home early enough to drive to the tree chopping place before it's dark.  Decide to go, once again, to the Christmas tree sale at St. Rose, a church around the corner from our house.  Spend an hour there while I inspect every last tree to make sure we get the very best one.   Make husband hold up each tree at least three times.  Take the best tree home.  Spend two hours rearranging our house to make the tree fit.

Wednesday or Thursday evening after first weekend in December:  Decorate the tree while eating pizza!

One year we did actually make it to a place to chop down a tree.

Aren't traditions grand?

This year we tried a different tree place than St. Rose, but their trees were gross.  Sweet Pea liked running around them though.

She really had fun though once we packed up and drove over to St. Rose.  They have such pretty trees!     She ran around them giggling and squealing and having the time of her life playing hide-and-seek with Daddy.  (Please excuse the blurry shots.  I didn't want to use a flash and this was an instance where a blurry shot was more important to me than a perfect shot!)
 We decorated two days later (tradition!) and Sweet Pea loved my old Minne Mouse ornament best.  She chose it for the first one to put up.  I have to say, I was super proud of her for not messing with the ornaments or tree at all.  I only had to explain one time that the ornaments were "fragile" and she had to be careful with them and not break them.  The rest of the time we had that tree up she would point to it every so often and say, "Or-ments fra-gil, Mama.  Careful!"  I love her to pieces.

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