O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…
It took me quite a while to decide on just one favorite Christmas tradition, so I’ll be attempting to add a new, shorter entry about the rest of my favorite traditions every day up until Christmas Eve.
To ask me to pick a single favorite Christmas tradition is to give me a near impossible task. I love everything about Christmas. I start listening to Christmas music off and on throughout October and November despite my family’s Christmas-decorations-go-up-and-Christmas-music-gets-turned-on-the-day-after-Thanksgiving tradition. I absolutely adore our church’s Christmas Eve service and our drive through neighborhoods afterward with cups of hot chocolate looking at Christmas lights. I still stay up late talking with my brother every Christmas Eve because I can’t sleep. There are so many things that I love about Christmas that at first my absolute favorite Christmas tradition may seem trivial –even commercialistic.
My favorite Christmas tradition is putting up our Christmas tree. Not the presents –that’s another tradition altogether, and one that is a couple of places down the list of my favorites—but everything about the actual tree itself. We have three trees in our house, each decorated in a different theme, but the one I mean is the 7 ½ foot tall tree that always gets put up in our living room. When I was younger, the tree was my favorite because every year when we got out our decorations I couldn’t wait to get out the box of ornaments. Inevitably, every year I would find at least one ornament that I loved that I had completely forgotten we had owned, so there was always this air of discovery that surrounded that box. My mom picks out a new ornament for each of us each year too, so there was always a new pretty ornament to “ooo” and “ahh” over. But the tree holds a special place in my heart for a different reason now that I am older.
As the oldest child, the job of helping my dad put up the Christmas tree fell to me as soon as I was old enough to actually do any good. Every year since then my dad and I have settled down in the living room, methodically, as is our way, taking the tree out of the box and separating the branches by their lengths. My dad is an engineer, and I inherited a lot of my personality from him, so we have a very specific way of putting it up. We put up a row of tree limbs, then wrap lights inside, then put up another row of limbs, then wrap more lights, and so on. Once we get to the top we start from the bottom with the twinkling lights and wrap them all the way up the tree, filling in any gaps we may have missed the first time around. It is a bit of a monotonous task, but with a little Christmas music or a movie playing in the background, neither of us gets easily bored. Knowing every year that I can look forward to spending time with him doing something that we both enjoy is what makes our Christmas tree my favorite tradition.