Monday, December 19, 2011

{ christmas tree cutting diaster }

You might know that I am yearning for tradition in our family. 
I am constantly trying to think of ways to make memories for our little family
and to do things that we in hopes that we can repeat them each year. 

Yesterday was set aside on our calendars as the day we would get our Christmas tree.
I had been looking forward to this day since the day after Thanksgiving and it was finally here!

I decided we would finally cut our own tree.
This is something I had wanted to do for years and years..
but we'd put it off until Jacob could at least walk around.

So after 9am mass, off we went to tree farm.
Perfect weather conditions, perfect company.

Let's just say the experience had a promising start
but I did not foresee how it would unfold.

In my mind, I had envisioned this day would be simply faultless.
I thought we would be all bundled up as we walked through the aisles, maybe hold hands, 
and the Snake would run about looking around in awe of the fields of trees.  
I thought we would pick out of perfect tree and ride the wagon back to our car.
We would smile and laugh the day away... and, at first, we did.

But soon... we couldn't figure out which trees were what price.
We walked and walked. and got lost in all that greenery and the employees weren't too well informed.
Soon the boy got restless and he wanted to walk.
A few minutes later, his little hands must've been numb because he started freaking out.
Falling, crying, wanting to be held, wanting to walk. 
We just couldn't make him happy.

Yet, I was dead set on making memories... 
even making these boys pose for a picture as things were going downhill. 
That kind of looks like a smile on Jake, right?

We grew more and more frustrated. We had driven 40 minutes to this place 
and needed to pick out a freaking tree (we only had approximately 200,000 choices). QUICK!
Then it hit me: it was no more than 32 degrees and, 
though the Snake was pretty bundled up, 
his little fingers and nose were red and nearly chapped after just 15 minutes.

We went back to the start so we could "take a break" 
and sit in the car for a few minutes to let our babe warm up again,
but we quickly concluded that it was just not going to work out.
It was awkward to wave goodbye to the farm owner 
as we drove away without a tree on top of our car,
but there was no way that we could put our kid through that again.

I'm not sure why I am so set on creating these picture perfect "traditions" 
to the point of making my family suffer through freezing temperatures. I know it's not fair. 
I just feel like I want my son to look back on a childhood filled with great family times. 
More and more these days I'm realizing that I need to adjust my expectations to reality.

If I'm not more flexible about my expectations, the only family traditions 
we're going to have going on are meltdowns and frustrations.

We did end up getting a tree today...
from the same place we have gone to every year of our married history.
From a parking lot in front of a McDonalds in the town Phil grew up in.
They guy held it up the first tree he saw and these were my exact words:
"I've seen 25,000 trees today. That one will do."

And you know what? It looks fine.
Maybe we'll try the tree farm again next year. Maybe not.
For this year, I'm perfectly content
with simply having a pretty tree to hang our small collection of ornaments on.

In the end, my husband made sure to remind me, Christmas isn't about a tree.
Christmas is about loving your family and friends
--and not about what tree looks like, that's for sure--
but most importantly Christmas is about the birth of a little baby who came to redeem the world.

That is what I am going to focus on this week.
That is what  our family tradition will be this year (and always).

1 comment:

carolynmp said...

First, I love the pictures of Jake. He is so cute even when he is sad. Second, I can totally relate. I think every mom wants to make special family memories and sometimes lose focus. Thanks for posting!


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