One tradition I’ve started since being a single Dad is to procure the Christmas tree ourselves. Granted, this limits us to the indigenous species, but I find it very rewarding. I never gave it too much thought until I heard the other “tree hunters” and their experiences. The fact that a permit is only $5 really cinched the deal
Normally, we go out right after Thanksgiving, as others are shopping, and fresh trees last through New Year’s even cut this early. However, I didn’t have the both kids then, I had to postpone until the week after when two other groups wanted my time. I wrestled with it, but decided to be selfish and get our stuff done first.
We’ve been blessed with a mild winter so far, so the usual snow gear and related projectile fight was out of the question. I was rather cold, though, but we were able to find our tree in record time (about an hour). My saw made short work of the tiny trunk, so we had our picnic and hauled our trophy home.
Much to the kids’ protest, we had to clean the living room before putting up the tree. (Dad’s are such buzz-kills, ya know?)
This year, I took a new/old tactic on hanging the ornaments, though. You see, I always string the lights, but we usually just hang ornaments as they come out of the box. This leads to dad unpacking, with the kids getting all the decoration action.
Taking a memory from years past, I instead laid all the ornaments in baking dishes first, so when the time came, we all got to participate together. Some may notice family heirlooms from the 70’s and 80’s that I’ve inherited. (You can always click the pictures to view full-size.)
Christmas is different for everyone, with associated traditions, sights, sounds, and smells. I’ve attempted to pass a few of my favorites on to the kids.
Here’s what Christmas is like for my kids:
- Music: Alabama Christmas, Tractor’s Christmas, + misc.
- Decorations: Tree, (usually) snow, a lit wreath for my truck & some static-cling decals I throw on the windows.
- Grandma Nini: For two years now, she’s been coming for my week during the break, while I have to work. We all look forward to it as a time of arts & crafts and quality time.
- Smells/Food: Pine, Cookies, Turkey & Hot Chocolate
Here’s to you and yours, wishing you the merriest of Christmas holidays.