Christmas Tradition

When you first get to this site is one of our family’s long standing Christmas Traditions. It covers how Mrs. Claus visits our kids while our family is out, gone to Church, celebrating Christmas Eve Mass. During her visit to our house she leaves the kids a brand new set of Christmas Pajamas. If you’re looking for family flannel Christmas Tree pajamas here are some before I continue…

Christmas Tree Tradition

We have other Christmas traditions. I’ll describe the Christmas tree traditions surrounding getting our tree and decorating it, another of our family Christmas traditions.
Let me warn you now that this is long (1000+) words, but I couldn’t figure out how to split it anywhere near the middle…

We have always gotten a live tree for use in the house. No plastic or otherwise artificial trees for us. This involves a trip to the Santa Cruz mountains. This is the first mountain range that you come to when approaching our area Eastward from the Ocean. The prevailing winds are off the ocean and so carry a lot of moisture in them. This is how just a few miles from us are some of the largest trees in the world. The redwood or giant sequoia. The redwood and many other evergreen conifer trees get a lot of moisture out of the air. They either absorb it directly or, the larger source is acting like a giant collector that “grabs” the moisture from the air and deposits the water on the ground under the tree.

Christmas Tree Tradition – Who

Everyone that is home goes. That’s it end of story. Our oldest daughter has scheduled “things” that happen to occur at the same time, which is fine, but if someone is home, they get to go, they must go. Tradition.

Christmas Tree Tradition – When

Used to it didn’t matter when we went on the trip to find the perfect Christmas tree. But almost 14 years ago our 3rd, middle child was born on December 5th. So that sets the earliest limit. We are not allowed start the Christmas celebration until AFTER her birthday. So our Christmas tree tradition is that we usually pack up and go the first weekend after her birthday.

Christmas Tree Tradition – How

Well we normally take the ’98 Suburban for this expedition. It has gone every year since we’ve had except for last year and I don’t remember why we didn’t take it. Other vehicles have been our Nissan Pickup truck, when we only had two kids. This past year we took the Acura MDX. The preparation for this trip involves brewing up some Hot Cocoa for the kids and fresh hot “Joe” “Java” -coffee for Mom & Dad. We also put our “hiking” clothes in the car. I also include the same ropes that I’ve used for years and an old bed sheet or two to protect the paint on the car. I bring a couple of pair of work gloves too. We also bring some muffins or other goodies to eat and of course, what hot cocoa would be complete without marshmallows? The last couple of years it has been downright warm when we get there making the coats and extra clothing entirely unnecessary. Still, it’s part of the Christmas tree tradition to bring all the stuff. The kids all get out their boots and we’re off.

Where do we go for our Christmas Tree tradition?

We visit a tree farm that faces the ocean. We have been to several and they all seem to have their own micro-climates that either help or hinder the growth of the trees. The farms have been, in most cases, in their families for a long time. One of our favorites is Mountain Charlie Ranch the other we’ve been to a couple of times is Patchen California Bot of these farms and several or the others all provide you with a saw for cutting and also the twine for tying the tree down. I’m a bit leery of the twine so as I said part of the Christmas tree tradition is to bring my own manila rope. Some of the farms have saws that are on the end of a 4 or 5 foot pole making it relatively easy to cut. Others provide a traditional “bow” or “camp” saw.

I use one of the small ones shown above to trim the tree to size.

Even when we lived in Connecticut, we did the same thing. The minor differences were that we actually went to the farm in the summer to pick the tree. At Christmas time, we showed up and they went and cut the tree or, if we wanted (and we did) we could go cut it down ourselves.

As the kids scamper here and there across the farm they yell out that they’ve found one or never mind or whatever. We all will wander over to the location and look over the tree. Eventually, we find one that we can all agree on. At that point we take photos of the prize and then I do the cutting, though the kids almost always want a turn helping. Once the tree is cut down, we celebrate by drinking our hot beverages. At the same time, the kids help me hoist the tree up onto the roof rack of the vehicle and tie it down. We drive it home where it is put in a bucket of water after having the bottom cut off the trunk cut off. This allows us to knock all the extraneous things out of the tree like vines or nests, spiders etc.

After resting, the tree is cut to size. We have a cathedral ceiling so can put an 8 foot or taller tree in if we want. After having the tree fall over a couple of times in the past 20 years I finally started tying it to a several drywall screws that I put in the ceiling. By using fishing line, you can barely see the strings and it is rarely noticed. The falling down is one Christmas tree tradition we’d rather not repeat. Mom does the honors of eyeballing the location and vertical-ness of the tree. Fortunately, we have double doors in the front so it isn’t too difficult to get the tree in the house.

After the tree is properly situated and anchored in place, water and Christmas tree preservative are added to the stand and the decorating starts. First the lights, then the rest of the decorations. I have a question: why are there ALWAYS burned out bulbs even though the last thing I do when storing the bulbs, before putting them away is to verify that all the lights are “bright lights”?

Here is a collection of Photos over the years… (Click on the photo to see full size, incl year)

Christmas Tee Tradition 2005 Christmas Tree Tradition 2005 Christmas Tree Tradition 2006
Christmas Tree Tradition 2007 Christmas Tree Tradition 2008
Family Christmas Tree Tradition 2008 Helper for Christmas Tree Tradition 2008
Helping Dad Christmas Tree Tradition 2008 Cut Christmas Tree Tradition 2008 Decorated Christmas Tree Tradition 2008
Christmas Tree Tradition 2009 Christmas Tree Tradition 2010 Christmas Tree Tradition 2010

Will you start your own Christmas tree tradition, or something different?

Christmas Tradition Ideas

Filed under: Flannel PajamasTradition

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!