Oh, Christmas Tree
I can’t believe it’s December, let alone that Christmas eve is upon us. This year has flown by at warp speed. Of course, the weather hasn’t helped strengthen the fact that it’s December. Up until a few weeks ago everything was still brown and it was 57 degrees. No way could this be December in Minnesota! But alas, it did not last. Good thing too because I love the snow. It was a shame we only got a couple of inches and not a foot or more. Hopefully soon.
I am sure most of you are running around doing all the things that come with December. Shopping, cooking, and preparing your home for friends and family. I love having everyone over for the holidays, though I must say I have been putting out fewer and fewer decorations these past few years. I can’t say it’s do to anything in particular, I just don’t. One thing we never skimp on though is the Christmas tree.
I wonder every year why we bring this fire hazard into our house. I mean seriously have you ever lit one on fire and watched how fast it goes up? It’s crazy how fast they burn and to think people used to put lit candles on their trees. Here is a couple of quick links to read about the history of the Christmas tree if you feel so inclined. I thought it was pretty interesting of how it all got started.
We don’t typically spend a lot of time picking out the tree. We go to the lot, everyone takes a row, though it usually seems the eight to nine foot trees are in the same row. So, we all manage to find our way back to each other amongst the aroma of pine and the prickle of needles. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the right one. It’s like a Christmas tree version of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears with choruses of, “this one is too thin”, “this one is too short”, “this one is too tall”, and “this one is too girthy”, yes, I did say girthy. Don’t know how we managed to come up with girthy, but we did. Which caused a lot of chuckling amongst the pines.
Between laughter, and a few breakout wrestle sessions with the boys, we managed to pick a tree and wrestle it to the truck. Where the boys proceeded to tie it down. While the tree lot guy impatiently waited for husband to count out the cash. All this in under fifteen minutes. Off to Starbucks for hot chocolate and coffee before church.
Believe it or not the tree made it home and into the garage, though I had visions of it flying out of the truck and through someone’s windshield causing a scene right out of a National Lampoons Christmas movie. The poor thing sat in the garage for nearly a week before we brought it in to the house, where it sat another week before we decorated it.
I love decorating our tree. I really do. I love pulling out the ornaments and placing them on the tree. You see each year that we have been married we have gone to the store at Christmas time and picked out ornaments. We have continued this tradition with our kids. This process takes a bit longer than picking out our tree. I mean there is a lot that goes into picking out the yearly ornament.
We have also purchased Christmas ornaments from the places we have visited and if something significant occurred throughout the year I have purchased an ornament to honor that achievement or that failure. Like the ornament we made for our oldest when he crashed his car into the corn field. I bought a matchbox Trail Blazer, painted it white and then glued dried grass into the hood. Then there’s my husband’s one horned dear and my youngest son’s ornament, for making the traveling basketball team
and of course I have a camera.
I also have countless handmade ornaments from my kids, my grandma and myself, as I have had many hobbies over the years that have lent themselves nicely to ornament making. We also made ornaments one year while the whole family was visiting for Christmas. It got a little competitive as we each tried to create the best-looking ornament.
Our Christmas tree is literally a time capsule of our life. And I am touched by each and every ornament on our tree. We have more ornaments than our tree can handle so it’s choosing which ones to put on the tree is quite tough. I keep telling my husband we need two trees. He just groans because that means he has to finish the basement so we have someplace to put it. But at least I would be able to look at all or ornaments.
I hope my boys continue this tradition when they get married and start homes of their own. They will also be able to take their collection of ornaments with them, so they will have a good start on decorating their own Christmas Tree when the time comes. My grandma kinda got me started on this. She didn’t take me to pick out an ornament, but she did purchase one for me and put it away. I love that she had the foresight to do this and I love that I was able to expand on this tradition and make it something unique to our family.
Another one of our little traditions falls on Christmas eve. We make a meal called Shabu Shabu. It’s like fondue only we use chicken broth. Then at the end of the meal you drink the broth. It’s a long meal and by the end we are all stuffed. We cook chicken, shrimp and steak, along with a variety of vegetables. We use dipping sauces for the meats and little baskets instead of fondue forks. By the end we seem to get tired of the baskets and just throw the food in the pot. Of course, we get a little competitive about who owns which piece, but it’s a friendly competition.
I am breaking with tradition this year though and am making a prime rib (click on the link to view the recipe in question). I saw the meal on Facebook and it looked SO GOOD! I hope it is because prime rib is expensive. Husband says Christmas only comes around once a year, so we will be eating a lot more chicken in the next month or two to offset the cost. Though I am going to have to figure out a when to make Shabu Shabu, because the troops have expressed a little, well a lot of displeasure in the fact that I am breaking with tradition.
It does my heart good to know that my family has enjoyed the traditions that we have fostered throughout the years and I am glad they enjoy them enough that they are missed. My hope is that they will continue these traditions when they get married and start families of their own. I also hope that whatever your traditions are for the Christmas season or the holidays that you celebrate that you can enjoy them with family.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! May you be blessed and find adventure!