December Daily Blog Challenge · Pop Up Posts

Pop-Up Post: To Green or not to Green

{December Daily Blog Challenge #11: Favorite Christmas Tradition}

I know it’s kind of a thing whether or not Christians should use Christmas trees, but that is not what this post is about.

Though it is about Christmas trees themselves.

I’ve always loved the whole Christmas tree tradition. As a kid, of course, I never gave much thought to what cutting down a tree and bringing it inside your house to sit in what is basically a glorified flower vase until the day after Christmas promptly when we could finally get all the needles out of my mother’s living room carpet  had to do with Christmas or the nativity celebration.

It wasn’t until my own kids asked me within the last couple of years where the tradition of Christmas trees came from that I bothered to look it up (long story short, it’s basically just part of the morph from the pagan celebrations of winter solstice to the Christian implementation of Christmas, which took traditions from all over (this one comes more or less from the vikings, who really just wanted to remind themselves during their long harsh winters that once upon a time there had been sunlight and greenery in the world and, with any luck and a few more deathly blizzards, there would be again) and re purposed them for that use). (That story was not actually as short as I imagined).

We went and got our Christmas tree today. Two, actually. One for downstairs to be covered in my parents’ 35 years’ worth of Snoopy/Woodstock ornaments and one to go upstairs and be lavishly festooned in ornaments the girls and I have made. We do the whole bit of going to a tree farm, riding out in their hay wagon to the cutting area, wandering til we find just the right tree, cutting it down ourselves, and dragging it back to be picked up by the hay wagon again on its second loop around. And then the magical apple cider that never tastes as good anywhere else as in that little woodstove-heated shed while they shake and net our tree.

Sometime this week we will put out cheese and crackers (and eggnog!), listen to Christmas music, and decorate them together. We will all close our eyes while dad plugs in the lights and ooh/aah at how this is probably the loveliest tree we’ve ever gotten.

We’ll water it and turn the lights off and on every morning and night and read stories by them and talk about the history behind each ornament and Christmas morning (after my mom wakes us up sometime before the crack of dawn) we will sit around the tree and go through the ritual of giving and receiving all the things we’ve bought, planned, hidden, guessed, and wrapped for each other.

All the best parts of Christmas happen around the tree.

What is your family’s favorite tradition?


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