When my siblings and I were kids, my parents used to put the Christmas tree up after we went to bed and told us that Santa brought it. When we got older, we went out as a family to a Christmas tree lot and picked one out together. We lived in the city, so there would be tree lots set up on street corners. Typically they used orange snow fence material to make a little fence around the lot and there was alwayas tree lights strung around the tops of the support beams.
When we moved out to the suburbs, we started going to tree farms. At first we picked out pre-cut trees, but one year we couldn't find one that we liked, so we trudged out in the snow to cut our own. One year when we couldn't find any we liked, we ventured out farther to another tree farm and a tradition was born.
Every year we pick a day to go. (This year we're going on the 15th) Regardless of who lives at home or not, all of my siblings go. My dad always wants to leave at like 9 in the morning. However, we all like to sleep in so typically we agree on 10 or 11 o'clock but don't show up until 12. (This irritates my dad) We drive out to the Country Pine Farms tree farm which is at the top of a hill in a neighboring town. In the parking lot we put all our heavy boots, scarves, gloves, and hats on. For some reason, every year we go, there is usually mud somewhere...under the snow or to the side of the walkway leading out to the cut your own trees. Someone always gets dirty feet. There's snowballs fights, circling the acres of trees about three times before selecting the "perfect" tree, and when we finally choose one-making jokes about sawing it down and shouting "TIMBER".
When we head up to the little craft shack to pay, we pick out a wreath for our door, sample the free popcorn and drink some of the free, weak, hot chocolate. After loading up our tree, we head to town to have lunch together.
What a great tradition! Last year we strapped Jamie's baby carrier to a sled and he came along too. Here is our tree from last year:
As a sidenote-I feel I should mention Jake and my own Christmas tradition. Each year we always end up in some nasty fight about putting the lights on the tree. I'm hoping to break that one this year. :-)
What are your holiday traditions?
If you'd like to read my NaBloPoMo contributions thus far, you can click here: November.