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Sometimes Traditions Just Evolve

December 4, 2014

Sometimes traditions just evolve. Like going to the movies with friends every Friday or getting together for lunch on your birthday. I’m generally not one for routine. It seems so damn confining. But when it comes to the holidays… there are a couple of rituals I treasure.

This one involves our Christmas tree. When my boys were little and we barely had anything to put under one, I was adamant about its presence. Maybe it’s like smiling even though you don’t feel happy. Soon you will, right? Trimming a real tree gave me Christmas cheer, and hope. Charmed by the fresh smell, the stray needles, even the sap – we’ve never owned a fake one.

My dad once fashioned a tree from the top of one of his pines, with some assistance from my youngest son. As soon as my little superhero could wield a saw he became our designated tree cutter. Even though we believe he has a slight allergy to the needles.

Through the years, we’ve continued to bundle up, trek the trails of the tree farm, fight the wind, and haggle over three or four varieties. After a vote, we send my son to the cold hard ground to do the honors. Maybe twice, during college, he or his brother couldn’t be home so my husband, our daughter and I opted for a precut tree. It just didn’t seem right.

Alas this season, even though both boys (they’re really men now) live in New York, the five of us made the annual ride to the local tree farm, marched through the snow and agreed on the cutest tree ever. My son made the first cut, handed the saw to my husband and then his older brother.

We weren’t upset that the farm didn’t offer its usual free cider. And I was looking forward to the sweet, spicy warm taste, but it didn’t matter. Not this year. It was really just about being together.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2014 8:55 am

    That’s a really beautiful family tradition. Nothing says Christmas like a fresh pine tree.

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