Do you have fond memories of your family decorating the Christmas tree? Do you like the aroma of evergreens permeating your home?
As a daughter of an immigrant family, my memories of Christmas might be a little different than yours. My parents did their best to imitate a traditional American Christmas, like It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. At least that’s what I thought an American Christmas was supposed to look like.
My parents picked up a real evergreen tree during my early childhood years, but my most viivd memory of a Christmas tree was the year my dad bought a plastic tree. You see, it wasn’t just any plastic Christmas tree. No, it had a special white styrofoam snow-like material that flaked off the moment you looked at it. It was the bane of my mother’s existence. But like a dutiful immigrant daughter, I vacuumed those dreaded snowflakes in our warm-weathered Texas home. Whatever happened to that special tree? Let’s just say that was the end of my family Christmas tree tradition.
Now as a family of two young boys, we’re creating those Christmas family memories.
We started our Christmas tree tradition very slowly.
Piano Man really wanted a Christmas tree. I told him that we don’t have space, nor the ability to buy a plastic tree for one year, only to toss it to the curb when we moved a year later. I told him that I’d make a paper tree he could decorate any way he liked. And there you have it, the beginnings of the Christmas paper tree tradition.
Last year, Piano Man wanted to real Christmas tree. Perhaps it was the fake snowflake Christmas tree that did me in, but I told him I’d make yet another Christmas tree out of paper – this time in 3D.
It doesn’t look too bad when you put lights and decorations on it.
Shortly after making our 3D tree, I visited a friend’s house with a ginormous eight foot evergreen that filled the entire house with a fragrant odor. I asked her what scent she used to make her house smell sooo good. She said it was the tree! I was floored by the smell, her sense of style, and my new found appreciation for the real deal.
This year we made our first visit to a Christmas tree farm. One, in particular, offered all the family memories and amenities to make an American Christmas tree trimming a reality – free hot chocolate, a fire to roast marshmallows, free sledding, free leftover branches, and a sleigh (truck) that would drop you off and pick you back up when you’ve found the perfect tree. Oh and did I mention that you could meet Santa?
I walked around the farm with such awe and joy. I was like a kid at a candy store, not sure where to go next. Who knows what the kids were doing or where they were going. There was so much fun and excitement in the crisp fall air.
When we finally settled on a tree, Prof hacked it away and carried it like a lumber jack, tough and strong. The boys watched with wonder and excitement.
We ran into friends who were on the same mission, and more friends, the same ones who introduced us to the fabulous eight footer. There was fun to be had by all. And though the prices were a bit high, you can’t put a price on that special Christmas family memory.
Friends mentioned that we have to get ornaments too, but I’m thinking we should keep paper crafts as part of our family tradition. And you know what? Our boys have nothing but love for crafting paper ornaments. We’ll see how we make our tree unique next year, or if we’ll continue with the Christmas tree farm tradition. Who knows?
What are some of your family holiday traditions?
From my hometown to yours,