Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Memories

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is going out to find and cut our tree. It's a tradition that Dan started years ago. There have been years when we opted to go to a local tree lot or (to his chagrin) pulled out the artificial tree that we've always had "just in case". But, for the most part, we've enjoyed having a "real" tree and it's created some great memories throughout the years. Before we head out, the first order of business is to put on a crock pot filled with chili or spaghetti sauce. After the long drive and a cold walk in the woods, it will be much appreciated by the hungry crew -- and by the cook:) Our hunt for the perfect Christmas tree has taken us through some of the prettiest forests in Colorado. For a number 0f years, we depended on my brother, Mark, to be our guide. He had access to secluded locations with beautiful treesk and were so remote that getting there was more of an adventure than acquiring the tree. One year we rode in on horseback. What fun it was, in some spots the horses were chest deep in snow. Another year, we took snow mobiles. That was the year a soon-to-be daughter-in-law lost Grandma off the back of her sled. Thankfully, the snow was soft and Grandma had a great sense of humor. As the years went by, we sometimes wondered, for whom are we creating the memories? One cold, cold day, we loaded up the kids in the back of our Expedition, with a cousin or two riding along. They all got caught up playing a card game, so when we arrived at the tree cutting site, they encouraged us to go on and look, they'd be along soon. Mark, Dan and I trudged through the forest, found a tree, chopped it down, and had it tied to the top of the Expedition . . .and the kids never got out of the vehicle. "Did you get a good one?" they asked, never looking up from their game, and by this time deep in the snacks and hot chocolate. The past couple of years we've found some beautiful trees in one of our National Forests. This year, we missed having Joe along, but created some new memories with Luke driving for the first time and getting to do a bit of four-wheeling on the road through the forest. We found the perfect tree. Amazing how each year, the trees just get better and better. And every year, we're more and more relieved to get back to the truck for the hot chocolate and snacks that await us. And, of course, there's nothing like riding home in a tangle of stocking feet and wet dog.

9 comments:

Renna said...

This was a wonderful post. I loved reading of your family's annual tree-hunting adventure. That sounds likes SO much fun!

The pictures were great, too. :-)

Bill said...

I love the socks & snout picture! You make tree-hunting sound fun and adventurous. I am sure your house looks very festive during the holidays.

But you didn't tell us what kind of snacks you pack for the expedition!

Trailboss said...

What a great memory you and your husband are providing for your kids. I hope they do the same for their kids some day. I have had an artifical tree for so many years I had forgotten how nice it is to have a 'real' tree in the house.

Judy said...

Oh! I LOVE this post, Karen.

We gave up on live trees the year that ours had obviously been peed on by a large bobcat.

Talk about the scent of Christmas. That was a year we will not soon forget.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

Those memories are completely and totally irreplaceable. I can just see you guys trudging through the snow to find the perfect tree, and then coming home to a warm house smelling of crock pot goodness.

Xandra

BClark said...

We have done the tree cutting thing in the past and it is so much fun. Never quite as adventuresome (?) is that a word? as your treks. Sometimes we think the kids are not paying attention, but when they are grown they drag out all these memories. Please post a picture, would love to see it.

gail@more than a song said...

Your kids will have great memories! It looks like Colorado has some beautiful spots for trees!

Much to my kids chagrin, I gave up on real trees the year ticks, live ticks, came out on the floor by the dozens! I haven't been to the tree farm since.

diana said...

this is something we've never done but i wish we had. everyone who does it makes it sound so adventurous and definitely memory making times.

great tradition.

Jen said...

Great pictures and posts....family traditions are so important to me and Scott. Instilling in this to the kids means more than anything.