For the past six years, my husband and I have spent the Sunday after Thanksgiving going to a tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree. Having come from an artificial tree family, this has been one of the highlights of my adult Christmases.
We’ve had many tree adventures over the past six years. The most memorable was when the tree fell off the roof on the highway. I still remember the feeling of snow falling on our noses and the wind gusting, from both the sky and the 65+ MPH cars flying past, as we attempted to prop that baby back up on the roof. The rope had broken and the only thing we had was a tarp, so we rolled it like a breadstick, threw it over the top of the car, secured it in the side doors and drove 15 MPH in the berm until the next exit. Good times.
Now that we have a family of our own, the traditions, and memorable moments, continue – like the four times that the tree toppled over last year. This year, for the first time, we had two kiddos in tow to cut down the tree. My 3 month old son was wrapped all snuggly in his carrier, while my husband and daughter meandered through the forest in search of the perfect Christmas tree.
It’s crazy what a difference a year makes. Last year, my daughter couldn’t even walk. This year, she was running around the trees proudly proclaiming “Tree! Home!” In toddler language, this means “We’re taking a tree home!” This led to “Tree! Car!” when we strapped it to the roof, this year securely.
After naps and the football game (I’d like to personally thank the NFL for game time starts at 1pm for us parents of toddlers), it was time to put up the tree. Of course we ran into a snag – the tree was closer to 11 feet tall than the 9 feet we had estimated. After more chopping and slicing, it fit in its designated corner, ready to decorate. My husband brought out the step ladder for my daughter to climb to help hang ornaments. She pointed to her preferred destination for each, clustering about 20 ornaments on four branches. After she hung a few herself, all she wanted to do was touch and explore. I tried explaining to her that she could place the ornaments, but not touch them. That went over well – telling a toddler not to touch something always results in listening – right!?
At the end of a long day, everything fell into place (luckily, not the tree). It was exciting to be able to share the memories of the past 13 years (before becoming mom and dad) that hung on our tree with our daughter, from “our first Christmas” in 2001 when we were Juniors in high school to the key chains we turned into ornaments in 2008 when we were recent college grads living on powdered potatoes; and this year, we’ll be adding “baby’s 1st Christmas.” Nothing is better than seeing years of memories aglow right there in our home.
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud mama of two. She is the Digital Communications Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.