Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Tree Memories

It's December here in the Midwest, and for our family, that means the tradition of finding and cutting down our annual Christmas tree has arrived.  Like all good marriages, my husband and I have made compromises over the years.  The compromise I made in the early days of our marriage is "hunting" for a Christmas tree each year.  A cut tree is not something I grew up with, but my husband did, and so it's what we do.

My husband wants it for the memories, and while I love all of the sweet moments I will have years from now, the details of the day aren't quite the same in pictures as they are in real life.  I won't REALLY remember how it felt to have my nose numb or my ears burning because it was 30 degrees outside.  However, through the pictures, I hope that I WILL recall the soft smile I felt when my people linked hands.  Or the gleeful sound of my daughter's squeals as she was running down the hill.   Or how excited she was when she found the perfect little tree.

I want these pictures to lock away the pride my daughter had when she could put the star on the tree she found all by herself.  I want it to bring back her words like a record player down the hall: "Seeeeee Daddy!!  I can reach!  PLEASE Daddy??  Can we get this one, please, please, please?"

  I hope I will be able to hear the calls from across the fields of, "What about this one?"  "OOoo - how about that one?!"  when I visit these again.  And when we were rather sure we had found a good one, I want to remember the sound of my husband's grunt as he raised our girl to test for the star reach.

  I want to remember how excited my daughter was at finding a real pine cone growing ON the tree.  And how my son's hands seemed so grown up as he worked to help cut down our tree.  How grown up in general he is and how his young face is slowly starting to upgrade into a teenage face.

  I want to remember my sweet girl lagging behind.  I want to remember how she makes her way at her own pace, no matter how quickly we need to get moving or if it means she is well behind the group.  I want to remember that my son was a supportive boy as he helped with his sister and that my daughter was so inquisitive.

I want to see my people gathered and remember out tradition of getting snacks at the store for the car ride home.  How my little car was the ride home for many a trees over our family's history.

I want to remember it all, because the reality is, one day, the traditions will change and then come to an end, and my memories will fade as the years go on.  But I don't want to forget any of it.

Until next time,

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