Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tradition, Tradition....Tradition*

When the kids were very small, I wanted to be sure that we began some traditions that were ours. Something that we would take ownership of and look forward to every year in our little family unit. These special things we'd add to the repertoire of festivities we grew up with to create wonderful family memories.

One of those new family customs is heading out each year with some good friends to hunt for and cut down our Christmas trees. This day always seems to be highlighted by trudging through snow of various depths, followed by teeth chattering, frozen fingers and toes, excitement as all of the boys (and Sidney) take their shot's at trying to raze the tree, and topped off with a hot cup of cocoa. Today was the day this year, and amazingly the first year with nothing but a few scant patches of the fluffy stuff (mostly ice now) on the ground.

We've tried several different locations, experienced varying levels of comedy, and I don't think we've found the perfect place yet. We've gone from someone's home out in the boonies, who didn't have the supplies we needed to get the cut trees home. Can you say improvisation?? To a well run, yet very expensive place whose trees seemed to drop all of their needles within 48 hours of getting them home. Then this year's location, something very much in between. We'll keep trying, because... it's tradition. And as Sidney expressed today: "Why would we go and get a tree that someone else has cut down? What good is that?" It's tradition, it's what's expected by my kids from their memories of their childhood (even though their still children:)

Another ritual that I began very early was the Christmas pajamas. Each Christmas morning, the kids have brand new pajamas laying on their beds, waiting for them to slip into before they head downstairs. The first year I did this was when Sidney was 2. At that time princess nightgowns all came in big girl sizes. She still wears that purple princess one, now a thread bear rag. It's gone from full length to mini in six years. I guess I should have thought this tradition through. Come to think of it, neither of the kids will let me get rid of Christmas Jammies past. Hmmm maybe I need to learn how to quilt and make something from them....
I say all of this in reminiscent discussion of what we do and to get ideas of things to come. I love tradition. Music, magic, dreams, wishes, stories, folklore, wistfulness, all of those things that make you feel warm and at home. What are some of your traditions?

*I can't say the word tradition, without thinking of Tevye singing about it on Fiddler on the Roof! :)


  1. I have an idea for the old PJs. My Mom made me a tree skirt a few years ago. She used scraps of fabrics from my old prom dresses! You could do the same with the old jammies, and then save those treee skirts for your kids to take with them when they move out.

    PS where did you go to cut a tree? We went to a place outside of Rochester this year.

  2. Thanks, very cool idea on the tree skirts!!

    We went to T.P. Pines Christmas Tree Farm in Twin Lakes. It was OK. Very small, I can't imagine there will be much for next year. We've gone to Bentz Tree Farm in Kenosha a couple of times and though it's nice and they've got Santa and Reindeer etc. It's VERY expensive. What was the name of the place you went? I'm still looking :)

    We went here this year. 25 bucks for a white pine. The more expensive kinds are 40. Still cheaper than a lot! No frills, but a lot of trees and great people working there.

    2 years ago we went here. They have a little gift shop, but not as many trees in the field.

    Valley View Tree Farm*
    W798 Valley View Rd, Burlington WI 53105
    Phone: 262-210-7235 or 262-534-7234
    Directions: From junction of Hwy DD & Hwy D, 5 miles NW of Burlington in Honey Creek, travel west on Hwy D 3/4 mile to Valley View Rd on left. Farm is 1 mile on right.
    Hours: Opening Friday after Thanksgiving, there after Sat & Sun only 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Choose & Harvest: Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Canaan Fir, Scotch Pine, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce
    Features: Shaking and baling, wreaths, center pieces, garland, gift shop, sledding hill, tree disposal bags, stands, saws provided, restroom

  4. Glad you had a fun tree day. I love traditions too - I think your PJ tradition is a great one! Ours is homemade french onion soup on Christmas eve. Random, I know.

  5. Thanks for the tree lot ideas! I'll hold onto them for next year.

    Karri, yum french onion soup! We're always in a different place each Christmas so don't have a foodie tradition. Since we're home this year we'll have to come up with something : )

  6. A- glad to share the Christmas tree tradition with you guys. We look forward to it every year. We also had the PJ tradition when the boys were younger but the boys got them on Christmas Eve. They won't really wear PJ's anymore (unless you count basketball shorts and tshirts ; ), so that tradition is no longer. We also open 1 gift on Christmas Eve (always a game) and play it as a family that night. That tradition still remains and is a favorite : )

  7. J--That's a really good idea. I'm looking for special things to do especially since we're actually here this Christmas Eve. Thx! :)



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