As Richie and her family begin their holiday traditions, our little family is continuing ours — with some exceptions and variations.
We found our tree at the Orchard Mesa Christmas Tree Farm, as we have for the last several years. We had to skip the hayride, which we always enjoy, because Margaret was had a cold and the icy wind hurried us back to our car.
We couldn't find our good Christmas tree stand and then argued over using the bad Christmas tree stand and whether or not the tree should be cut again once we got it home (I said yes, Bill said no. I acquiesced simply because my fingers were too frozen to stay outside and saw a new cut myself). This is not part of our holiday traditions and one that we hope we do NOT continue in the future.
Cutting our own Christmas tree is not something that we did when I was a child. I grew up in the San Francisco-Bay Area where parking lots vastly outnumber tree farms. Instead we'd go to the huge tree lots out by the Oakland Coliseum. We'd walk around, eat a hot dog and find a tree.
Eating a hot dog was almost as important as getting a good tree.
This year when we got home from the tree farm, my mom asked if we got a hot dog.
I think next year that will become part of our tradition — because hot dogs should be part of every tradition, as far as I'm concerned.
Our first Christmas together, Bill and I had no Christmas decorations at all. But we still bought a giant tree and pulled our pennies to buy some simple bulbs, a couple blown-glass ornaments, bows and an angel.
We still use them, but now we decorate our tree with ornaments that we've have accumulated over our 11 Christmases together as a family. I saved all the Hallmark boxes and plastic containers for each ornament and love opening each one. As we put them on our tree, we talk about how cute/pretty/thoughtful each ornament is, where it came from or who gave it to us.
I love this part of the holiday.
This year, I bought some picture frames, sorted through a box of old photos and put a bunch of pictures of my dad out on our piano.
He's the only thing missing this year.