Saturday, December 6, 2008
It was always my family's tradition to pile the six of us into the car a couple of days before Christmas to go out and find the family tree. It wasn't an easy task because we could never agree on which of the hundreds of trees was the perfect tree. We all knew the criteria though: it had to be the biggest, best tree in the entire forest, and no one was satisfied until we found it. The problem was everyone's vision was different and we all had an opinion on each other's choice of a tree; It was either "too tall, too skinny, too bare, too Charlie Brownish". Usually family consensus came shortly after our toes and fingers started to freeze from walking around in Ohio temperatures too long.
Once my husband and I had kids I knew I would continue with my family's tradition. My husband had other ideas. He's the guy that would happily go to Target and buy an artificial tree if I let him. Well that's not going to happen! There's tradition that needs to be followed!
Picking out our tree is my favorite part of the holiday preparations. My husband (reluctantly), kids and I usually head out to the country to find the biggest, fullest tree we can to cut down. One year my husband was on a work trip (he didn't seem too upset to miss the tradition that year!) and my kids and I had to go get the tree without him. On the drive to the tree farm I regaled them with stories of all the trees my family had growing up, reminded them of their roots and explained there was tradition that had to be followed and it was not to be taken lightly. I told them how my family was famous in our neighborhood for always having a Christmas tree that practically filled the whole room. It didn't matter that our living room wasn't large and a small tree would have been better. We were the Meenachans; Meenachan's didn't do normal size trees.
Well my kids didn't waste any time following that tradition. I am not kidding you when I tell you the tree we cut down required three men to hoist it to the top of our van for the trip home. I could barely see out the side windows because the branches were hanging so far down off the roof. It was fantastic!! We were laughing at all of the puny trees we saw on the roofs of other cars, thrilled that our tree was bigger than any other we saw on the way home. Turns out that tree was so huge we couldn't fit it in our front door. (I was secretly thrilled and knew the Meenachan's would be proud of me!) After many failed attempts to fit the tree through our front door a friend literally had to cut it in half so we could get it in the house. We used half of it as a tree and the other half for wreathes! You can't fight tradition when it's in your genes!
My second favorite part of the Christmas tree is decorating it. This year's choice is sitting in the stand waiting for the lights and ornaments. Hopefully it will be decorated by tomorrow evening and I'll post photos of it then.