Paradise is Sharing...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's a Family Tradition....

Every year the Hansen family gathers and goes out on the hunt... the hunt for a farm fresh cut Christmas tree.

Explaining this to MyHoney, who is originally from "the city" was a delight in itself.  His family either used an artificial tree, or went to the local hardware store and bought one pre-cut.  But not our family... no... not us.  The only way to understand it, is to experience it... and to be part of this family, you need to partake.. laugh, and enjoy the day for what it is.. a family tradition.

 We all then descend on to the farm... then the chaotic scurry of hellos, greetings, and "where are we going?s" commence.  I had to laugh out loud when I asked my Dad where we were going for this years tree... and he answered "POW-NAL Buddy!"  Ummm.. ok... "Buddy"  ;-)

Then there is the tradition of the caravan.  We all follow each other to the tree farm.  Now, mind you, we were all born and raised in this town.  We all know where we are going.  There isn't a back road we aren't familiar with... but we all have to FOLLOW each OTHER to the tree farm.  In trucks.  Big trucks. (well, my Subaru THINKS she is a big truck..shhh.... don't tell her otherwise)

Once at the tree farm, the next tradition comes into play... looking at every single tree.  Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of trees.. and we look at every single one... sometimes twice.  Now, you would think after all that looking, we would walk out of there with a tree fit for Rockerfeller Center... Nope.. not so.  Mom wants a tall "skinny tree"... Dad wants one that will fit in the tree stand, and we just want to get on with our lives, get family photos and eat lunch.

And, while the tree farm does provide saws, my Dad is very insistent that we always cut down our tree with an axe.  And, if there are any boughs left on the stump, we need to cut those and take them too because Mom will make swags with them later.

Oh, and pictures... did I mention taking pictures?  I feel like Paris Hilton getting my tree with the paparazzi clicking photos left and right.  Let's just say, after walking two acres looking for the "perfect - imperfect trees" I don't really look like I just stepped onto a cat-walk... ah well.   

Two, maybe three hours later, we all emerge from the woods, lugging trees two by two, and all $40 less rich then when we came.  Then the caravan leads us back to the farm where we eat a big hearty lunch, eat Moms carrot cake, and watch the turkeys parade across the field on their way to raid what few apples are left on the apple trees.  (and yes, I cheated, this pictures are from a few weeks ago when we actually had snow)

Once fattened up on Moms carrot cake, and sleepy from the big lunch, we all head off to our perspective homes to our own traditions of decorating our trees.

Over the years, some family traditions have been changed as we grew older.  Some family traditions that I started for my own "family" look drastically different today... but the important part of the holiday remains in tact, that we all are together.

After getting my little blue spruce today, MyHoney and I went back to his place and set up a manager scene that had been in his family for years.  His traditions have changed drastically too as his family has changed.  His sisters live in California, his father passed away, and now it's just him, his mom, and Derby... and now Lexi and me.  It was an honor to help him carefully unpack each wise man, set up the little lambs, the Virgin Mary and Joseph.  (The baby Jesus will be added later, but first needs to under go a little minor super glue surgery...) 

Tomorrow night MyHoney and Derby will join Lexi and I as we decorate my little tree with all the precious ornaments I have collected through the years.. each one tells a story of a Christmas past... each one, a family tradition.

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