Traditions are sort of funny little things. I read once that children really long for family traditions (whether they know it or not) and it doesn't matter what they are; they just produce a feeling of inclusiveness. I consider Joel and I to still be newly married and we're especially new with having children and being responsible for starting traditions for our little family. We're still trying to figure things out. But the thing is, you can't force traditions; they just happen...you know? We'll probably look back on these early years and try to remember when our silly or special traditions started.

We have a funny thing we do every year that we didn't plan on becoming a tradition....but of course, I think it is going to stick. Joel and I aren't perfectionists on most things, which I like. However, it has sort of become a badge of pride for us during the Christmas season when everyone else is struggling to find that perfect tree and have a perfect experience in the process. While I wouldn't have a problem with going to cut down a tree, I've never really cared enough and this year this was especially the case with me 7 months pregnant, Parker freezing his little buns off in 20 degree weather and Joel, who really doesn't care:) This year we went to a lot right beside Dairy Queen with lovely Nobles. The lot came highly recommended by my sister because she was so impressed with the cute guys in the carhartt pants last year....ha!

So here is our tradition and it really makes no sense at all: we try to pick out the tree in the least amount of time without looking at all angles and then when we get it home and in a stand, I try to get the lights and decorations on in the least amount of time, as well. I know, you're totally jealous of our tradition. You should try it...you might like it:)

When we got to the lot we asked where the shorter trees were hiding and then looked at about three different trees for about three minutes, we picked the one with the least amount of defects, paid for it and left. I think the entire trip from the time we left home was about 25 minutes! Nice. The lights and ornaments were a piece of cake. Everything was so quick and then we got to sit back and enjoy our work without stress! We always crack up because our tradition is sort of silly but it is so fun and no one is stressed out! So maybe we don't appear to have the "perfect" experience, but it is our experience and our tradition and I hope that it continues with even more fun as our kids get older. I can just imagine all of us running through a DQ parking lot, slipping on the ice, in order to find the tree in a faster time than last year!

Of course, we both have traditions from our childhood that we are carrying on, but I think it is important for a family to have their own, as well. We do special movies, music, new pajamas, a new ornament, a new book, and certain timing of gifts in addition to the tree race. It is so fun, isn't it? Please share some of your silly holiday traditions and maybe we can pick up some new ones!

And I just had to add this picture because it totally represents my day yesterday... and I can share an everyday-type of tradition that we have: Parker and I often share a little bag of popcorn when he isn't feeling well, but yesterday he swiped the bag and took it to his bedroom. This is what happens when a toddler eats popcorn by himself:)


Kelsey said...

I knew you would just love that tree lot! Those carhartt-wearing men are so nice and helpful (and cute)! I love that you and Joely are establishing traditions for your family. I just love all of the traditions we were brought up with, and I can't imagine Parker and Baby R. # 2 growing up without any. I will give you a call tonight to tell you my thoughts about your letter. I love you!


Oh! And when I saw that picture of Parker I started laughing histerically. I almost called you right then to tell you how cute it was. That little Pike is a stinker!

Wendy said...

Have you ever read "Treasuring God in our Traditions" by Noel Piper (John Piper's wife)? It is a great book and it helped me think more about being purposeful in our traditions.

While traditions can't be forced, I have found that I need to make sure I am thinking about ideas that would be good and making sure I keep doing those things and knowing WHY we do them. The kids usually end up reminding us and seem to want to do the same things again and again, which is a help too. We started having every Friday night as a family night, which we want to keep even when they are older. We take turns picking a favorite dessert (we only have dessert on that night, so it is special)and sometimes watch a movie or play a game together. The kids look forward to this all week. It is so much fun to think about building memories for our kids.

By the way, I love that you and your sister are so close. I have 3 younger sisters.

Anonymous said...

Cute picture of my little Parker
See you guys soon


Munchkin Land said...

I just had to giggle when reading your post today; both about the "tradition" of decorating your tree and of the photo of Parker. Aren't toddlers fun?!

Aleah said...

I love your tree Amy!
You know what? We've done the same thing the last two years...we get out of the car stand in place look and pick right away. And both these last 2 years we've bought tiny cute little trees! Maybe we feel sorry for them?!
The years past different story though. Walking and walking looking and looking for that "perfect" tree. Silly.

Love the picture of Parker! They can be so sneaky sometimes! : )

Andi said...

I love your tree buying tradition! We've definitely gotten less picky over the years, but I remember spending HOURS going to different places looking for the perfect tree when we first got married :)

I love traditions too- especially holiday ones. One of my favorites from growing up is getting new pjs on Christmas eve. However, one of my favorites just since I became part of your family is praying together on Christmas eve, thanking God for all the ways He's blessed us over the past year. We'll definitely miss being with you this year!

Jen said...

Our family always opens one gift on Christmas Eve. The one gift is ALWAYS new pjs! I still love this tradition and it's totally one I plan on carrying on with our kids!
ps. Your tree looks great...it looks like your tree hunting trip took way longer than 25 minutes!

Sue said...

Your tree tradition is starting to rub off on us!
Love Mom

So glad that Molly's scratches have been 'paid for,' your 'puter is back to you, and my daughter is back to blogging.

ami da said...

wow! Parker's just so cute!! :)

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