Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Holiday Traditions

Only 18 more days until Christmas! Can that be right? Where has the time gone? I have so many great things that I wanted to share with you this holiday season like my new advent activity that I set up this year, but since it is already December 7th, it's a little to late to share that one. I think I'll keep it under wraps (...pun intended) until next year.

So, I decided that today I would like to talk about holiday traditions, specifically those surrounding the Christmas tree and some of the things that are important to our family.  

Before we had kids we always did an artificial tree and in fact that was what I grew up with and truly all I had ever known.  I had never experienced that fresh pine smell which conjures up images of hot cocoa by the fireplace with the snow gently falling outside the window.  After our first daughter was born my husband and I decided that it was time to create some new traditions around the holidays.  The first would be to go out and pick out our very own fresh tree each year.  Mostly, we have always gone to a garden centre and picked one, but this year since we are in a new City which is just minutes from the country, we decided to go to a tree farm where we could actually go out, pick the perfect tree and cut it down with our (well, who are we kidding...with hubby's) own hands.

 So, this is where we went, D.C. Drysdale's, a tree farm but so much more.  What a fantastic family day we had there.  After the horse drawn trailer ride, there was face painting...

 and meeting Santa who was here for a visit...

My oldest is the one in the pink hat hanging off of Santa and the little one is with daddy in the second photo.  She doesn't like to get too close!

Then it was off to hunt for the perfect tree!

After an hour and half of wondering through hundreds of trees looking for that National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation moment, the little one thought she had found it.  I told her it would be perfect if her name was "Charlie Brown"!

After all that fun was had, we tied the tree to the roof of the car and got it home and into the stand.  The next day we managed to get the lights onto it and then I spent the following evening, after the kids were in bed and while hubby was out, drinking some wine and adding the remaining decorations.

 Now you may be thinking, hmmmm, this is not a very designer looking tree like I see on so many other blogs and websites.  Well, you're right.  After the tree was complete, I considered not even posting about it because it didn't look like the other ones but then after some thought, I realized that the important thing about this tree is not how perfect it looks but how perfect it makes myself and my family feel about the holidays.  This tree represents so many wonderful memories and will create new ones too.  My oldest daughter actually picked this tree out herself.  It's 9 feet tall and a bit wonky in spots, but it's perfect because she thinks it's perfect.

No, the ornaments are not all teal and silver, or brown and gold but aside from the filler balls and icicles, every other ornament on that tree tells a story of our life together.

 From left to right and top to bottom, there's the red high heel that I bought while shopping with my best friend, the ornament my baby made for me when she was still in daycare, the snow man ornament my friend Maria made for me,  just one of many handmade, cross stitched ornaments by my mom, one of many beautiful pewter ornaments that my boss in my previous life would bring me each year from Nova Scotia, a Tim Hortons pot from my wonderful friend Erica who works there and knows how much we love coffee, a couple of brand new ones that my oldest made just this year, the blue one in church and the gingerbread man at home and last but certainly not least baby's first Christmas.  These are just a few of the wonderful items that we have on our tree that mean so much to us as a family and isn't that what Christmas is really all about?

Until next time...Lisa

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