After we found the biggest and the best, the guy at the Christmas tree lot (who I remember as always being good looking and fun to flirt with – wow, the things I think back on when I write these tradition posts!) … the guy would take our tree over to the saw and cut the bottom of the tree so it would be level. The smell of saw dust and pine filled the crisp winter air.
It was always soooo cold!
Back at the house, we would put up the tree while our three little kids danced around it later, in their Buzz Lightyear and Barbie jammies. The smell of sap and pine saturating the room. Ajers always christened our tree with a unique name. He always named our Christmas tree. How cute is THAT? One year he named our tree Rudolph, King of the Trees.
After the tree had a day to ‘fall’ so the branches could loosen, we’d start putting on the ornaments. Back then, we didn’t have a ton, just enough for a brand new little family. But now we have a billion.
A decade later, with a move in between that lasted six years in Chicago, we live on the other side of the country. And five or six years ago, we decided not to get real trees any more. We decided it was too much of a mess. The sap got all over the carpet, needles got everywhere. We had to water the tree every.single.day. The tree usually turned brown before Santa came.
Our tree now is still beautiful. It’s really, really tall, and this year we decided to keep it with just all white lights. I know some people who have themed trees, and while that’s great for them, it doesn’t speak to me. Well, actually, that’s not true. My tree is a themed tree. My tree is themed after my family. My tree is a FAMILY themed tree. It represents US. The oldest ornament on the tree is one I made in second grade.
SOMEONE sneaked it onto the tree this year without me knowing, because I usually ALWAYS put it on the tree myself. That is my job. That is MY ornament. We also have ornaments from places we have been like NYC, the Grand Canyon, Navy Pier, Brookfield Zoo … we’ve started a collection. There are name ornaments, and silly ornaments, and sentimental ornaments like the one my grandmother, who will be 100 in July, gave me in 1992 when Mr. Manic and I first were together. It is very special to me because it was her acknowledging that she accepted him into our family.
My favorite ornaments in the entire world are the ones that my children made in a Mommy and Me class I took with each one of them. These ornaments are simple paper plates with glued on tissue and their pictures in the middle. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I wouldn’t care if my whole tree was filled with them. In fact, I wish I had one of them from every year so I could see how they’ve grown.
This year, the night we put up the tree, Tukey and Diva wanted to sleep in the living room by the tree. We let ‘em. They’re still little at heart, and they were so excited to camp out by the tree, to whisper about Christmas and talk about whatever it is they talk about when the two of them get together. It was cute, and maybe they’re starting their own little tradition – a camp-out under the tree the night it goes up?
Do you put up a tree? Do you have a special tree tradition, like this family? What kind of ornaments do you have, and are any especially sentimental to you?
And because this post is sponsored by my friends at Subway, don’t forget you can go over to the Fresh Takes on Family Time site and share your fun family traditions to enter to win a $50 gift card –– you could use a night off from cooking. PS – while you’re over there, check out this video ...it’s absolutely darling. I want to be this family, they’re so cute!
Happy Holidays, and seriously, if you don’t have a tree up yet, go do it already! Time’s a wasting!
XO from the MaNiC one!
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