11 December 2014

Christmas Trees & Traditions

The Christmas trees in Alaska aren't going to be what you expect. Well, the ones you cut down yourself anyway.  I had been bugging Kyle since before I shared his last name to cut down a tree and he never agreed, until now! In Alaska, you don't go to a tree farm to cut down your own tree, you consult a map for authorized areas. (I really think that is the only reason Kyle agreed.) Anyway, the day had finally arrived! We decked the baby out in her winter threads and out the door we went!  
christmas traditions

As we started walking, I could just feel Kyle laughing. He had every right to! These trees may smell like Christmas, but they certainly didn't look like Christmas. They were all tall, skinny and sparse! We walked around for about 45 minutes before selecting the most plump tree we could find. After all of my nagging about cutting down our own Christmas tree, we sure as shit weren't going to leave empty handed! 

christmas traditions

christmas traditions

christmas traditions

This tree has affectionately been named "Jimmy" and is strictly being used for his aroma and ability to house a few lights. Thankfully, I had set up and decorated our artificial tree earlier in the week. We are still laughing at our Jimmy Christmas tree daily! 

christmas traditions

christmas traditions

christmas traditions

After we Kyle loaded the tree on the car and we were heading home, he looked over at me and said "that was a lot of fun." He was absolutely right! It wasn't about finding the perfect Christmas tree, but about spending time together, having a great time, and doing something festive for Christmas. It got me thinking a lot about the amazing family traditions I had growing up, the ones Kyle and I have already created for our own family and how those will evolve as our children grow up. 

Kyle and I each brought traditions into our marriage that we have and plan to continue. Our Christmas Eve activities are a perfect blend of traditions from both sides of the family. We begin the evening by eating a big dinner complete with a ham and way too many sides, then we sit around the Christmas tree and read the Christmas story from the bible. After the story, we open our Christmas Eve gift which is always crazy festive PJ's and once the kids are a little older will also include a movie or game of some kind, you know to give Santa some space to do his thing later on in the night.  Everyone then goes off to change into their jammies and we all pile in the car to go look at Christmas lights while rockin' out to Christmas music. We when get home it's bed time! 

At this point in our lives, that's really it. As I've mentioned before, this is the first year we are spending Christmas 100% on our own as a family and Mallory is too young to really notice or care what is going around her. 

Some family traditions we look forward to carrying on :: Making reindeer food and cookies for santa. Helping the kids build a fort so they can all camp out together waiting for the big man to arrive. Drinking gluhwein together on the couch until the kids are no longer stirring so we can put together their stockings. 

Some traditions we are excited to create :: Exchanging stockings together, just as a couple, on Christmas Eve after the kids are asleep. Having two Christmas trees; one for the adults and one for the kids. Maybe even cutting down our own tree! ;) 

christmas traditions

christmas traditions

So, cheers to the most wonderful time of year with a a young family! 

What are some of your family traditions?

Before you go, a little Starbucks giveaway!

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