I love the tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree but it changes from year to year depending on if I have had a baby or not, the weather, etc. Last year Baby Boy was only a few weeks old, I was still recovering from the c-section and so we bought one from a tree lot and our son who is full of tradition, George, was none too happy about that. This year he began talking about cutting down a tree months in advance reminding us that we cannot abandon this tradition.
The day after Thanksgiving we had wanted to cut down a Christmas tree but my husband's back was bothering him from playing football the day before (he says he is getting old) and so we waited another day. It was a beautiful, sunny day . Not too cold and not much snow on the ground yet. We went to a tree farm not too far from here and enjoyed a tractor ride that took us to a field of trees. It didn't take too long to find the perfect one. It wasn't perfectly shaped but it was tall and full and so my husband and George began working to cut it down. Timber!
Unfortunately the tractor had problems and so we were stuck out there for awhile. We debated hiking back and pulling the tree behind us but the kids enjoyed throwing snowballs and running around and so we waited.
Our tree is much larger than I had thought but it fits. I only dreaded putting the lights on. In the beginning of our marriage I was quite particular about how the lights went on which is something I got from my mother. I would wrap them around up and down each branch and make sure there weren't any dangling down. Beautiful! But, with time and more children and maybe larger trees also, I gave up on that. Especially since I would get tired of hearing the children say "How much longer?"
I can remember the days when I was a child and my sister and I would sit watching my Mom put lights on the tree just itching to put ornaments on and often would end up having to wait until the next day! What, and I still struggle with patience? This year I decided to throw them on as neatly as I could and make sure it was covered so that when I squint my eyes I don't see any holes where lights should be. It worked out well, although I do have quite a few dangling cords but when the lights are dimmed no one knows the difference and the children surely don't care.
So, we decorated the tree and it looked wonderful. I only needed to put a few more at the top as we need a ladder for that. Not long after I heard a crash and knew immediately that the tree had fallen down. This happened to us last year also, but not on the day we put it up! My husband had planned on wiring this one to the wall but a little too late. Thankfully, no one was hurt as no one had even been in the room. I was mad for a moment and then cried too as I found ornaments that had broken. It wasn't that the ornament was broken so much as the memories that a particular one conjured up. My favorite was broken last year and this year dangling glass bells that were my Grandma's broke and that was hard. But, I know memories are in my heart and not in an ornament and so it is okay and I talked to the boys about that. Our tree is now wired to the curtain rods and looks beautiful. Baby Boy is in awe of it and purses his lips in an "ooooo!" each and everytime he sees this huge tree in our living room. I love it!
Right now the song that is playing through my mind is called "The Perfect Tree" by Ray Boltz and reminds me that the perfect tree was not dressed in ornaments but it was the tree that Jesus laid his life down on - a gift for you and me! I am thankful for the tradition of the Christmas tree and all of the lessons we can apply from it.