Tree hunting we will go

I am a sucker for Christmas traditions. Cookie decorating, home decorating, Christmas light enjoying, stocking hanging, Christmas music. If it has been sung or written about during the Holidays I like to do it. I NEED to do it. I enjoy going as big as I can. I want my kids to focus on the season, not just the morning of Christmas. Getting our tree is no different. Growing up in Southern California we never went to a tree farm. I am not even sure if there is that many of them there. Here in Wisconsin there is tree farms all over. Dale and his family always went and cut down their own tree. I was freaked out the first year we roll up to a farm, and they hand us this big, old, rusty saw. That was it, no instructions, permits needed. I figured we were involved in some skeevy tree farm stuff. Nope, just the regular, in the country tree farm. We drove around the acres of land to find our dream tree. It was so foreign but amazing. I was hooked!


We have carried on this tradition with our kids. This year was no different. Last year we waited until the second weekend in December, it was in deep polar vortex freeze. We were miserable, and picked the first tree we saw. Running into the car and shivering all the way. Not what we were looking for this time around. So, when I heard that the weekend of Thanksgiving it was going to be mid 30’s, We needed to jump on that mild weather. Can I just pause this storytelling for a second and say, that whole previous sentence makes me cringe. The So Cal girl in me is screaming “What?!!!!! mid 30’s is mild? Get yourself to the beach and in flip flops now!” But, for better or for worse, I am in Wisconsin and that is a mild winter day.
Our tree!
We got there, singing along to Christmas music for the 15 minute drive to the tree farm. Jumped out of the car, excited to traipse in the mud. While getting each child’s coat on we realized we were one coat down. My ever diligent and helpful Caleb had taken his coat into the house and hung it on his hook earlier in the day. The rest of us had left our coats in the car. Its ok, we had a extra coat of Dale’s in the car. Some rolled up sleeves did the job. We also forgot our cute Santa hats on the table by the front door. At the ready for us to grab on our way out. We forgot to grab.

Its ok, these little hiccups are not much. On-wards and upwards. The kids have coats, lets do this. Wait, not so fast, we have three gloves and four adult hands that will need to use it to carry the tree. Yep, we are one well oiled machine. I am usually obsessive about checking everything. If Santa makes a list and checks it twice with his naughty or nice stuff I am the same way in organizing plans and outings. I keep things together. On this day I was in the magic fog that is Christmas tree hunting. We were still on that high and did not even pause, Dale and I just laughed and began our trek to find “the one”.

We keep our requirements simple, tall, not too sparse with branches, and not painfully prickly. Two years ago we got a tree that had the most painful branches and pine needles ever. It was uncomfortable to put ornaments on. This year we got a normal, soft, big, bulky, green tree. We walked around for about 15 minutes, maybe a little more. Then zeroed in on a few different trees, and let the kids pick the final one. They all agreed on one beauty, so Dale got to work sawing the tree. Using one of my gloves and one of his. See, we made it work.

He also was my hero, since we were down one glove he muscled it all the way back to our car by carrying the tree on his back. HE CARRIED THE TREE ON HIS BACK! My man, so strong. The kids said Daddy was a super hero and the strongest. Dale may or may not have floated on air the whole way back with those compliments from our crew of Littles.
They were willing to help

We got out tree, the missing coat and gloves are a none issue. Dale is super human. It is time to get the tree home and light it up! But wait, there is more. See, there is tree pro’s at this tree farm. Who hook up the tree on the top of the car. We bring rope and they do the rest. They set it on our van roof, then bring the ropes into the car through the windows and wrap around the tree. In the rush and stress that is trying to be helpful and stay out of the way while they do what it is they do. I hit the back of my head, hard on our car. I ignored it, tried to shake it off. And we whisked our tree away. Only hours later did I realize my head was pounding and I could not touch my head without it hurting. When I did touch it (out of sick interest) I had a big ‘ole lump on my head. Good times. But, it was time to man up. We had a Christmas tree to decorate, priority’s. This is memories people!

Follow that Tree!
We got it home, I ignored my head, and we strung some amazing and sparkly LED Christmas lights on. Laid out all of the ornaments we have accumulated through the years, and the ornaments Dale’s Mom had purchased for him throughout his childhood. It is a sweet tradition she started of giving him one a year. We also purchase one a year that is relevant to what is going on with our family that year.
The kids get to have free reign of placement of the ornaments. We do have to help them put ornaments on branches that can support the weight of the ornament. It was fun, and we only managed to have two tantrums during the whole tree decorating. Hey, with three small kids I say that is a win.
It was finally done. From beginning to end we had a humorous, fun, Christmas-erific, jolly, a little painful good time. We ended up with a tree that has more hand made ornaments than anything else. There is a slew of Disney character ones, little ceramic ones, it is all history, and all ours. This is one place in my home where the tradition, spirit, and memories of Christmas past shine the brightest. I adore this season, the traditions. I always wonder as my kids grow up, start their own families, and make traditions of their own. What of ours will they choose to pass on? What will stand out to them as the great memories from the Holiday season? I hope whatever traditions they take from them into adulthood they do improve on one thing. Planning, bring enough coats, gloves, and try to not hit your head on the car. They say each generation should be an improvement from the previous. Well, there is room for improvement.
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2 Comment

  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    Love this! You had me laughing along the whole story, sorry to hear about your head though. Are you ok now? You have to take care of yourself too Mama!

    1. I am glad our mishaps are entertaining, if you cant laugh it life it is going to be one tough road. I did ice it and rest once the tree was decorated.

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