Friday, December 14, 2012

The Tree

I posted the other day about our Christmas decorations and promised a post on our tree.

 Years ago, we decided to create a family tradition. I came up with the idea of decorating our tree with snowmen. Every year I take the kids out shopping for an ornament. We go to the same store every year. It has four floors of crafty, home decorations, not just for Christmas. We take our time and go through every room on every floor, making sure no tot miss anything. After the ornaments are picked, we take them to the front desk and pick out a caramel. I pay and we head out to the porch area. There they have sample-size cups of fresh, hot apple cider. It's an experience we all look forward to every year. This year, Mr Farmer got to come with us for the first time. He is not one to take his time, so I expected to be rushed through our process and leave feeling irritated. But he was awesome! He walked slowly with us, did very little sighing, didn't squawk at the prices of our ornaments, and never rushed us. I was excited he got to share that experience with us this year. I don't know if he felt the same, but at least he pretended. He's a good man!

  Each child has their own reasons for picking what they do. Sissy chooses ones that symbolize something important from the year-- start of school, first cookie baking, etc. The Boy tries to find the same ornament each year--he has four years of the same lantern ornament with slight differences. And Baby looks for anything that sparkles, is pink, and girly. And if all else fails, like it did this year, she picks one that looks like candy.

This next one is Mr Farmer's and mine from this year. It symbolizes the purchase of our truck this year.

That first year, our tree was pretty bare, but it has filled in quite nicely over the years. The plan is to give the kids their ornaments when they get a home and tree of their own.

I am amazed, as I look over the ornaments, at how many different variations of snowmen there are.

And to top off the tree? On the first Christmas Mr Farmer and I spent together, we didn't have a  lot of money, so I made my own angel. I used a teddy bear. Years have come and gone and we have tried to put a star or angel bought from stores, but Mr Farmer wants this one. It means something to him. And so, we use our angel from that first Christmas together.

 When the tree goes up, the kids can't wait until they get to put their own decorations on it. They feel each one and try to remember it from years past and why it was special. Sometimes there's a special story with it and other times there's not.

A funny story about The Boy this year. Mr Farmer watched The Boy putting his ornaments on the tree. Mr Farmer said it went like this. Mr Farmer said, " The Boy really tries to find the perfect place for each one. He walks around the tree. Looks up and down, thinking, contemplating. Then he puts his ornament on a branch. He takes his next one, walks around the tree. Looks up and down, thinking, contemplating. Then he puts his ornament on the exact same branch as the one before." He ended up with five of his ornaments on the same branch. It must have been the perfect spot! So perfect, he couldn't imagine his precious ornaments anywhere else.

I will add a few apple decorations, pine cones, or cranberry garland to add some color to the tree, but it's mainly just snowmen and a teddy bear angel.

Does your family have any traditions?

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