There are a few traditions we observe in our tree-cutting outing. First: with the exception of Jed and Lindsay, who don't have room for a tree just yet, we go out as a whole family. It takes two very full trucks, but somehow, we all fit: Grandpa and Yia Yia, Moriah, Tim, Beth, Gideon, Elise, Abe, me, Charis, and Judah. This will not be the case next year, when we will have at least one more member in our family. Then, we'll have to take three trucks, environment be darned.
Second: we always get Concolor Firs. My history with live trees is short--when I was growing up, we always, always had artificial trees--so admittedly, I'm no Christmas tree expert. But a few years ago, we came upon these wonderful trees whose needles were just the right length, and soft, and when broken or crushed, those just-right needles give off a very pleasant citrus-y scent. There's only one place in our area that sells these trees, so hopefully, their business will flourish for years to come, so that we can always have the tree we want.
Third: our newest tradition is that we (our immediate family only) always go ill-prepared in the winter wear department. Last year, Charis had no boots, so we put plastic bags on her feet underneath her tennis shoes. How apropos. Judah had a snowsuit and hat of two very, very different prints; he was warm, but hard to look at. This year, though Charis' boots from last year still fit, we had only her old (too small) snowsuit, which kept riding up, exposing her very delicate calf. We also had only a pitiful pair of mittens for her, mittens that, though they have a theoretical place for the kid's thumb, do not actually fit any thumb larger than a toothpick. Poor Judah, on the other hand, was wearing an old, hand-me-down pair of boots with no liner, and--the unkindest cut of all--one of Charis' old snowsuits. In Pink. We have since acquired spiffy new snow pants for both children, bombproof boots for Judah, and fantastic mittens. And also hats that match. I did toy with the idea of turning these pictures black and white to save us all from the embarrassment of my children's attire, but I ultimately decided that this blog isn't about glossing over reality--it's about the real deal. So Judah, I apologize in advance.
I also apologize for not having a picture of us with the actual tree, but I'm sure you'll see it in a later post, trimmed and decorated.
Here's Charis going for a sled ride a la Superman with Grandpa. This photo was taken several minutes before Abe and Moriah were bowled over by Grandpa's runaway sled. Thankfully, Charis was not on board at the time--she had safely slipped and fallen on the icy, packed snow all by herself. Way to go, C!
Here's Judah in his lovely snow ensemble trying to take himself for a ride. At any rate, it's safer than being on a sled when daddy, Moriah, or Grandpa are involved. He remained in good spirits for quite some time, despite the fashion tragedy. On our way out, though, and despite the 20-degree temperatures, he stubbornly refused to wear his boots one second longer. I think he sensed that the red cuffs clashed miserably with the pink snowsuit.
Here's Peanut, plumb tuckered out on the way home. We weren't even out that long, but I think the excitement of the day, coupled with the caloric expenditure of trying to stay warm when her calves were constantly exposed to the elements, sucked the energy right out of her. Of course, our brief ride home was all the nap she got that day, but at least she looks good and rested here.
All in all, a good day. The Christmas tree may be seconds away from being another page in our history book, but the memories it helped create will live on--oh, for another couple weeks, anyway.