“Zip up your coat. OK hoods up. Are you warm enough? Hold on the tractor is about to take off,” I told my children on Saturday afternoon. It was a cold and overcast 40 degrees but no rain. Ready to pick out the tree we bumped along on the old trailer to the little plot of land with rows of Scotch Pines. “This one is perfect”, Anna yelled while running across the land. “It cannot be taller than me guys or it will hit the ceiling.” Daddy added to the short list of criteria for the hunt. Breathlessly Jake said, “What about this one everybody!” Each kid running from one find to the next. Finally Ethan found it and we all agreed it was just right.
Aaron had to lay down on thedamp earth and use the handsaw each kid had a turn, of course Jake and Spencer were not really able to pull the saw across the trunk of the tree. Anna and Ethan did the majority of the cutting and then “Timber”. We tied it to the roof of the car and so another family tradition drew to a close. Pride in the eyes of all the kids who climbed inside the van knowing they had picked the perfect tree and all was good with the day!
So how does your family pick a tree? Do you go a Christmas tree farm and decide together? Do you go to a lot where the boy scouts help you with the tree? Or do you just go to the attic or your basement and get out the artificial tree? Either way it has become a tradition especially if you have children. Our children love the traditions of Christmas.
Tradition is defined as any time honored set of practices or beliefs. We love our traditions. As for children they depend on traditions for understanding of events and happenings. My children know that when we go to cut the tree down we are close to Christmas. Most children love to have a part in such traditions it gives them ownership of the event. The more traditions that have meaning behind them that we pass down to our children the more memories we are giving them, the more times they can look back in life and have a warm feeling when they pass a nursery or see a Christmas tree on the top of a van.
Christmas time is one of the best times to start traditions. If you don’t have any traditions yet start a few with your children. Picking out a tree, having a cookie day (to make Christmas Cookies together), Gingerbread house day, decorating the house, setting up the nativity, reading a special book each evening during the last 3 weeks leading up to Christmas around the Christmas tree, go to Church together find something that fits your family and start a tradition. Stick with it through out the years and your children will learn from it and thank you for it long after we have passed on from this world. Then someday our great, great grandchildren will be running in that field saying “I found it, I found the perfect tree Daddy!”, and all will be right in their world.
The traditions of Christmas time are as varied as the families scattered about the earth.