Tradition! Tradition! (la-la-la-la) Tradition! Tradition! Today I’m thankful for traditions (and for Fiddler on the Roof, but that’s another post sometime.) Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, we load up and drive to get our Christmas tree. Yeah, we’re wasteful, tree-killing evil folks who buy real trees from tree lots, Wal-Mart, or Home Depot. For years, we always went to this little tree lot where our Home Depot now stands. Then they built the Home Depot, so we couldn’t go there anymore. In subsequent years, we chose between whichever place had the best options. I always preferred the years we got to buy them at Home Depot. It FELT like we were back at the silly little lot where once we didn’t tie the tree down properly and it fell off the station wagon the minute we started to drive away. Good times.
Several times, we’ve tried to go to a lot that is in the parking lot of one of the local churches. We always assumed it was a fund raiser for their youth group or something, but apparently it isn’t. Since little lots like that tend to have better trees, we really wanted to try it. However, as I said, we always do it (tradition, you know) the day after Thanksgiving. So far, they’ve never been open. This year, they were. We were excited. Then we found out that our daughter had to work just as we’d normally be decorating. Who wants to decorate the tree with family members missing? Not me, said this flea! So, we decided on getting the tree on Friday and decorating on Sunday when our extended house-guest-turned-second-daughter would be home from her weekend away. We never did coordinate our schedules, so we ended up just getting the tree tonight.
Was I disappointed that things weren’t done the “traditional” way? Of course! I love our traditions. We don’t have many, but the ones we have are meaningful to us. However, traditions are meant to serve us, not be our masters. Because we waited, we got a much better tree this year than we have in years past, and for a much better price. It was so much fun! That was the best part of all. Aside from a two day difference, today was exactly the same as every year. We strung popcorn, sang songs, watched a movie (White Christmas), and made a huge popcorn mess.
This year we may begin a new tradition. I’ve always wanted to do one of those “advent” calendar things where each day you open a door or drawer or something and get a piece of candy or a slip of paper promising cookies or something, but when you have nine children, they don’t make them big enough. This year, I got one. I found the perfect thing that fits US.