Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Like so many people, I adore Christmas. I love the sights, sounds, smells, colors, activities, foods... And of course the memories. One of my all-time favorite traditions we have for Christmas is getting our tree.

Since moving to Oregon, we've made it a point to bundle up as a family and march through a Christmas tree farm to find the perfect ONE.  Jeremy and I love how this simple act of picking out a Christmas tree always carries with it priceless memories and family togetherness that is irreplaceable.

This year, Harper was very into it.  She marched through the farm of 11,000 trees and owned it.  Yes.  That's 11,000 trees.  The first tree Harper spotted and announced should be ours was reminiscent of a tree from Dr. Seuss.
We laughed at the fact that every tree she found was the "one"... and each of them was at least 14 feet tall!  Even Jeremy and I were waiting for a National Lampoon moment... you know where the light shines down and angels sing when we come across the "one".  Yeah.  That didn't happen.

As we marched around and passed up one "almost" tree after another... it was getting colder and colder.  Just as we started to feel the oncoming of feeling disheartened and just before the kids really started melting down, we found it.
Our perfect tree with the perfect place to put our star.
Thank goodness that a tree farm angel showed up just after Jeremy cut our tree down.  We had wondered further and further away from our car as we searched.  We were pretty far out.  The kids were done.  I was holding them.  Jeremy was left to drag our giant tree to the parking lot.  Out of NOWHERE a guy showed up and asked if he could help Jeremy out with our tree.  The little kindnesses of a stranger go so far...
Our little Mr. Man enjoyed a licorice rope and some thick hot chocolate by the fire up by the parking lot.  These little moments stop my heart and make me savor every single second.
As we drank our hot chocolate, I ran into my friend Annie from my BSF group last year.  It was so much fun running into her and her beautiful family.  She (being a photographer) offered to take our family picture.  Thank you Annie.  These family shots are actually more few and far between than I would like.
The kids and I started decorating the tree while daddy finished up work.  My little helpers were all on board and truly helpful this year!  Harper helped me with every single wind the lights took around the tree.  And Bentley made us a special "nest" of tinsel ;) Such a different picture than last year when we had an almost 3 year old and a 1 year old.
Harper got the honor this year of putting the star on the tree.
Little brother had to take part as well.
One of the following mornings after putting our tree up, I brought Bentley down from his room.  As we walked over to the tree to turn the lights on, he began to sing all on his own, "oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches".  Precious boy.

The final product is one we cherish.  It's a colorful, family-style tree and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Our tree is a patch-work of love.

Every year Jeremy and I have decided to buy each of our kids an ornament that reminds us of that child for the year.  This year had a disney theme.  Harper's ornament was Rapunzel's tower, Bentley's was Buzz Lightyear - since the obsessions were strong this year.  Completely epitomizing them at almost 4 and 2.

Jeremy and I have each hung ornaments from our childhood - some we made, some of Santa, some of Jesus and the nativity.

My mom also gave me a few of my brother Jeffrey's childhood ornaments to hang on our tree to remember him.  These ones hold so much emotion on our tree.

See?  A patch-work of love.  A patch-work of lives and memories.  Being able to sit next to this tree in it's glow, especially in the early morning hours, brings a peace and calm.  It's these simple traditions that cause me to feel deeply thankful for my family, our memories and the love we share in Christ Jesus.

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