Oh Christmas Tree…

Andy tries to act like he’s really cool and tough, but really, he’s a giant softie.

His sentimental side comes out in full force during the holidays.

Traditions are non-negotiable.  There are certain things that must happen.  No bones about it.

One of which is hunting for the perfect tree.  A real tree.  From a farm.  Not a parking lot.

Even if it’s sprinkling out.

Which for us California folk is a really big deal.

So, with Storm Watch 2012 on high alert, we bounded out the door in search of the tree that would grace our living room.

The wagon came.  It always does.  Because that’s part of the tradition.

2007: The wagon wasn’t there…but only because we didn’t own it yet.  But same tree farm.  Same weekend.  Same baby?  Oh wait…that’s HENRY.  Sheesh they look alike.

2008: Baby on the back…two babies on the inside.  Still no wagon.  Same place.  Same weekend.

2009: There’s the wagon!

With two babies inside.

2010: Um…I can’t find those.  But it happened.  I remember.  But it’s driving me CRAZY that I can’t find the pictures.  Crazy.

2011: Wagon, check.  Three kids, check.  Lucy with a black eye, check.

2012: THIS is what happens when I try to get them to all smile at the same time.

Not a one.  Not a one.

We searched high and low for the perfect tree.

Lu inspected.  To be sure.

And then we watched the boys cut it down.

Which is REALLY exciting.

And we ride the tractor back.  Because we always do.

A trailer carrying the tree and my gooftastic family.

I love this picture.

A picture only a mom can love.

Simple memories of this time in our lives: Jilly’s yellow hairclip, wispy blonde hair, the way her hand is resting on her daddy’s leg…Lu’s deliciously wild hair, her stained and torn jeans, and muddy rainboots.  The sweetness of the everyday.


And we end with a few turns on the old country swing.

Maybe Andy has it right.

Maybe the easier route of popping over to the Home Depot parking lot isn’t the best route.

Mabye the fake tree wouldn’t be as fun.

Maybe traditions should be non-negotiable.

Do you have non-negotiable traditions?



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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    Traditions? Some.
    But we also have the fake tree. Mostly because the hubs refused to pay good money for a tree. From the Home Depot lot. *sigh* The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree made it’s appearance for like the sixth year in a row and I said ENOUGH. If you’re too cheap for a decent tree, I want to have a fake one.
    Yeah. Call me Scrooge.
    kimber´s last blog post ..ÜberMom I am Not

    • 2

      Um, I’m the Scrooge in the bunch. I am forever whining about how expensive it is…what a waste of money it is…blah, blah, blah…that I’m buying a fake tree “this” year at after Christmas sales…
      And really…this is totally what the kids will remember. I suppose not everything has to be about practicality.

  2. 3

    Absolutely. Yup.
    Karri´s last blog post ..Holiday Traditions

  3. 4

    Of course we do. Our Christmas tree tradition is the exact opposite of yours. When I was growing up it looked similar – awesome Christmas tree farm, tractor rides, Santa, etc. Now I just send my husband and my boys out to pick a tree from a lot. (no tree farms here) I get a little me time (this year spent at Starbucks and Anthro ) and they get some guy time. Win-win :)
    Kelly´s last blog post ..That’s Better

  4. 6

    Most definitely! Traditions are so important and help to build a safe place for our children. They love knowing what to expect and the memories that come with it!

  5. 7

    insert same details in your story only add that the dad uses a chain saw to cut it down. that was my childhood. in my real life now we have a cheater tree and a glade pine scented candle. ten kids, well thats the best i can do. its pretty tacky too. and of course all the kids make fun of it but then again i dont see anyone else going out to get the real deal.
    i love your wagon.

    • 8

      you can cut down your own tree at this place too, but it’s really just so much easier to have the high school kids that work there do it.
      and ten kids? i bow down before you. ;)

  6. 9

    I love that you call your family gooftastic! Awesome! I wish we could somewhere as cool for a tree. We planned on getting our tree at Costco, but they ran out. And even though we paid twice as much at the parking lot tree lot down the street, I feel like it was worth it for the experience. We got to wander around and choose the perfect tree (not the one that must have been 15 feet tall and cost $400). And the smell of all the fresh cut trees! To die for. Thanks for sharing your story!
    laura b´s last blog post ..December Daily (Pages 1-6)

  7. 10

    wow, if we weren’t covered in several feet of snow here in Canada, that tree-picking tradition would sure be fun! :) love the year by year wagon shots. that’s a tradition to continue for sure!
    Becky´s last blog post ..tradtion

  8. 11

    I truly love this post. Yours is a wonderful family. I admire your husband because in this age of speed and technology he still has the time to attend to seemingly small things but matters a lot to the spirit; your pictures can tell. What other Christmas traditions do you keep?