Merry Christmas!  If you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope whatever holiday you celebrate is filled with family, love and amazing traditions.  My family has lots of great traditions that we've worked hard to create.  As a parent, I know it's not easy to maintain these traditions over the years.  It can be a real pain in the behind to be honest.  However, I have my teenage kids telling me about the memories they have from Christmas' past and then I know that it's worth it.  

For instance, we go to pick out a Christmas tree from my parents' land to cut down.  To start with, we planted those suckers so many years ago and patiently waited until they were big enough to use.  (and then they are all ready the same year and too big the next year)  We always seem to have the worst weather to do this harvesting - think deep snow, driving rain, and/or freezing rain.  We dress in all the warm things we can scrounge up from my parents' closets and get out there to pick out the best one.  And then the fun really begins as we all take turns sawing it down.  No chain saws - that would be cheating!  Hand saw all the way.  It is way more tiring than you think it will be.  Finally we get it down and throw it on the tractor to haul it back to the car.  That doesn't even take into account the strapping of the tree to the roof, getting it off again when we get home, shoving it Grinch-style through the front door, getting it lined up perfectly in the tree stand, watering it every few hours at first, getting all the lights on (nobody likes that job!) and then FINALLY you get to do the fun part - put on the ornaments.  It always looks amazing and every time you walk past it, you are amazed that just a short time ago, that tree was living in a field.  So, you may wonder, is it worth it?  I sure as heck hope so.  Kidding.  I do think that the memories we create doing this every year are deeply embedded into our kids' memories.  They have a deeper appreciation for what it takes to have that tree in our living room for the month of December.  For me, cutting that tree down is a way to further connect all of us to the beauty and love of this season.  Side note:  Don't worry, we're always planting more trees out there at my parents' house.  

I hope all your holiday traditions are stress free, happy inducing, memory making and just plain fun.  

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or Happy Festivus! 


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