It’s officially December which means it’s time to chat all things CHRISTMAS!
Unlike the majority of the blogging world, I just can’t motivate myself to start decorating for Christmas and doing all the Christmas crafts on November 1st. I just can’t do it.
But, now that December is here, I’m so ready for all the Christmas season has to offer.
As much as consumerism and gifting seem to headline the holiday season, I feel as though it’s the Christmas traditions that really make the season what it is.
Sure, we decorate and buy gifts galore. I shop Cyber Monday sales and Pinterest pretty wrapping ideas. We feel the “hustle and bustle” more than I would really like to admit.
But, when we take the time to take a step back, take the time to embrace the season whether religious-minded or not, it’s truly a beautiful time. There isn’t another period in the calendar year where spending time together as a family is more important or more expected, I guess. And, with all that family time comes my favorite part – traditions!
While I have wonderful memories of traditions past, I truly love and look forward to the traditions we have made together as a family of 5.
I wrote last year about our Advent book countdown we do with the kids. Every night from December 1st to Christmas Eve, we read a different Christmas story/book. Some are religious, some aren’t. I love doing this with the kids and they seem to love it, too, this year especially.
Then there’s the obvious stuff like decorating the tree and listening to Christmas music. I’ve been bugging my husband to cut down our own Christmas tree for a few years now and I finally convinced him to do it this year!
You know how you envision something in your mind and then it all happens exactly how you wanted it to? I’m quite literally shocked to say this experience was EXACTLY how I had envisioned it going, in a good way.
It was the perfect day: cold but not super cold, overcast but just a little sunshine. The kids were well rested (shocking), we stopped for coffee on the way there and got the kids cookies at 10am. We listened to Christmas music and held hands. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Of course, the next day was absolutely horrible. But, let’s focus on this one amazing day 😉
We went to a Christmas tree farm about an hour north of the city (Grupps for anyone local). It’s hard to adequately describe the landscape and feel of this place. Let’s just say it’s picturesque.
While I love living in the city, a part of me loves the countryside, too. It’s nice to step out and breath in fresh air and look out around you and see a vast nothingness. Or, I guess a ton of Christmas trees! Maybe not having all the conveniences of city living would be refreshing….
This place was just too cute. We got a saw and a tree carrying wagon thing and headed out to look for our tree!
Seriously, just look at that sky!! Just beautiful.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the landscape was very hilly. Thankfully my husband pulled the kids around 🙂
We searched for probably an hour for a tree. Apparently there’s a tree shortage here in Pittsburgh (maybe nationally, I’m not sure) so the selection was pretty slim. I mean there were a TON of trees. We were looking specifically for one that wasn’t super spiky and was like 8 feet tall.
Once we abandoned the 8 feet tall part, we were able to find one!!
I took a little video of all my boys cutting down the tree. What we foresaw as a fairly elaborate endeavor proved to be extremely simple. Just ignore me constantly worrying about Charlie cutting his hand off. If you knew Charlie, you’d understand….
*Also, I feel like this is not what my voice sounds like really. But, wow if it is thank you to all the people who listen to me talk*
After we the tree down, we had to trek allllll the way back to the barn. Which was a quite a long way. The kids were “tired” from being pulled around for an hour. I had to carry Charlie and TJ attempted to both carry Liam and pull the tree and that failed.
Liam had to walk and giving credit where it’s due it actually was a pretty steep hill. Of course he made it as dramatic as possible then broke out into a full sprint at times. Kids, am I right?
This picture really highlights the landscape and the perfectly gray, swirly clouds. And Liam with one glove on. Who knows.
There was another couple down by where we cut our tree down who snapped a quick picture of all of us. For the most part we were completely alone out there. You would randomly pass people here and there but it was by no means crowded even though there were a ton of people there.
My parents watched Evie but I’m already excited to take all 3 of them next year.
The whole thing including the tree was only $57. I thought that was such a great price and definitely worth that and more for our experience. They wrap it up and tie it to your car, too. That’s probably the worst part of getting a tree and worth $57 in and of itself!
With the tree home, it was time to decorate!
Another one of my favorite traditions revolves around ornaments. I love pretty styled Christmas trees that you see on Pinterest or in magazines. But, I equally love trees full of sentimental ornaments, though they may not look quite as “pretty”.
Hopefully when we move to our new home, we will have room for 2 Christmas tree. One will be a pretty styled tree just for me and one can remain our family tree.
Since we just have the one tree now, I love loading it to the brim with tons of ornaments. My aunt (also my godmother), bought be an ornament every year for Christmas. When I moved out, my mom gave me all the ornaments and I love looking at each one of them and remembering the year.
I decided to play off of that a bit for the kids. We started this new tradition a few years ago.
Each of the kids gets to pick one new ornament every year to put on the tree. Then, when they move out (cue all the tears), I’ll give them all their ornaments for their very own tree.
While it’s fun to go to Target (of course) and pick out an ornament, my favorite part is looking at what they pick each year and remembering them at that stage.
For instance, Liam picked a Thomas the Tank Engine ornament 2 years ago. My sweet boy was just 3 years old and couldn’t go anywhere without a train. We watched Thomas every day and played endlessly with trains. You practically have to force him to even touch a train now. While I realize it’s the natural progression for him as he gets older, I can’t say my mama heart doesn’t get a little sad remembering him from years ago. I try to keep it positive and look back fondly at those memories I have with him.
This year, Liam picked a transformer and Charlie picked R2D2. I picked a little beaded heart for my Evie girl.
I’ll write their name and the year on the back of each ornament so we can remember the year.
You can see what else they picked the past few years. I wish I would have started when Liam was a baby!!
If you like this idea, PIN the image below to share 🙂
Wishing you a joyful day!