Thursday, December 7, 2017

Continuing Traditions: Cutting Down Our Tree

This year, as we came closer to the weekend for us to get our Christmas tree, I had the chance to look back over the last two years that we went out to cut her down (2016 & 2015).  You would think that I would have been prepared for how much these pictures would mean to me.  I talk about the importance of documentary photography regularly, and for Pete's sake, I shot the pictures.  But I really can't tell you how unprepared I was to look over those stories.  You see, the writer in me does my best to make my posts more than just pretty pictures.  I try to talk about the memories that I experienced too.  And it was exactly that, those feelings and emotions that were locked away in both visual cues and written word, that I wasn't fully ready for.  I wasn't ready for how different my kids would be or some of the little things that would have changed.  And I was so thankful to be able to look back at them and know that when my children have their own kids, I can do more than just tell them the stories of when we went to get our tree - I can show them.

So, this time, I went in with a different perspective.  I knew that these pictures will matter not as much today as they will in a few years.  In a few years, when I have no idea which farm we want to try, these pictures will jog my memory.

 In a few years when my daughter has stopped holding hands and having a gleeful joy about each tree she thinks might work, I will look back and smile.  And when my son has outgrown me and is inching closer to my husband's height, I'll be thankful for these.

When we reach the stage that my son no longer offers for my daughter to climb up on his shoulders to test the height of our tree, I'll have these moments locked away to look back on and remind me.

 I'll recall with a laugh the way I shake my head at my husband's devilish grin when he finds "the tree".  The one that is towering far over his head, but he still tries to convince me will fit in our 7ft. space.

 I'll chuckle as I remember how my son tried so hard to find a "little" tree for my daughter to have one more her size.  And I'll remember the stage of life that we used our girl to measure our tree and see if reaching the top was possible before we officially cut it down.

 I'll remember how my husband gave my son the perfect place to trim her down to, and the way we all worked together to help make it happen.

 How the boys hauled her through the lot and my girl tagged right along behind.  And how my son made waiting more fun by letting his little sister sit up high on his shoulders once more.

I'll recall the cuddles in the tractor for fear my girl would fall out, and how we spent a little time checking in on animals while at the tree farm.

And of course, I'll remember the final stop as the tree was loaded on top of the car, and we got ready for the drive home to decorate her for the season.  Plus, I'll have these images to help me with all the little details in between.

Until next time,