Like most families we have our Christmas traditions. For us, the Christmas tree is the first tradition of the season. We go to the same tree lot every year on the first weekend of December to pick our tree and we decorate it that evening. It is a special time for us to really connect and reminisce on past Christmases.
Living in the Chicagoland area, we never know what weather we will have the Friday evening we go out. There have been years when it’s been snowing with a wind-chill at zero. One year we set a record of selecting a tree in about 5 minutes. This year it was in the 40s and my daughter and I wandered the lot inhaling the beautiful scent of Christmas. We found the perfect tree and took it home.
After getting it into the house and putting the lights on, we started our favorite part of our tradition of putting the ornaments on. I started the tradition long before my daughter was born of buying one new ornament every year. Most have been bought on vacation or international business trips. All have memories tied to them.
When my daughter was born, I decided to also start the tradition with her. She buys an ornament each year as well. It has been fun watching her selection change over the years as she matures. We have animals from her toddler years, onto Disney princesses and then ballerinas. We have LOTS of ballerinas. Recently her selection has been music instruments.
With all of our ornaments on the tree the last item to go on top of the tree is our angel. With my daughter now taller than me, this is the second year of her having the honor of putting the angel on top. The photo with this blog is of her doing so.
What I enjoy most about the Christmas tree is sharing the memories as we pull ornaments out. This is my way of passing on the history of our family. There is always one ornament that for whatever reason will draw us into a deep conversation. This year it was a beautiful Maple Leaf we had bought at our vacation in Quebec City two years ago.
Each of the ornaments she has selected over the year are written down on an index card that is kept in the ornament box. She knows that when she’s older and ready to move out on her own she will have a very good start on Christmas ornaments for her first tree.
It will be a very good Christmas this year. I wish you and your family blessings as you enjoy your own holiday traditions.