The thing that we most love about the holidays are the traditions that we've created to celebrate them.
We've got quite a few traditions related to Christmas. Obviously decorating is one of them. I love to decorate the house for Christmas. It's like a non-food related "comfort food" for me.
I love just putting all the special treasures here and there that remind us of the season with each opening of the wine glass cabinet or the linen closet.
It seems each little treasure that only gets the opportunity to come up from the basement for three short weeks brings back some special memory or someone who gave it to us.
|One of my favorite treasures, given to me by Ally & Spencer. We make Gingerbread babies together EVERY year.|
For the most part I tease G that he's pretty bah-hum-bug about the holidays (but honestly that has more to do with the over shopping I usually do for the holidays really.) But he does love our Christmas tree tradition.
Each year we go to a "u-cut" tree farm, search and search for that perfect tree to cut down. The past 5 years we've been going down to Olympia for our tree to Tom's U-Cut farm. This year we did it a bit differently than the usual. Since we were going that way for dinner we decided to go pick out our tree before going to the dinner party. It was a foggy kind of late afternoon. We actually needed to hustle a bit as dark was setting in fast.
At first it's always a bit overwhelming, so many trees, "How do you pick?"
After walking in circles several times we usually narrow it down. Truthfully it usually happens a bit like this. I find one I like, we mark it with a colored ribbon just in case I find another one I like.
|G= "Okay are you SURE this is the one?"|
We walk around, do the same for a few more trees.
And then we can't find our way back to the ones we've marked. It's an effective system (Not!)
But somehow we always narrow it down to THE ONE. This year it was this one, with the crooked top but very symmetrical shape. I like symmetry.
The next morning after a bit of our favorite breakfast,
Abeja inspired Smoked Salmon Hash with Horseradish Cream,
(recipe linked here)
and a fresh Cutie Squeezed mimosa we started our traditional tree trimming process.
G snipped a few branches here and there before we started the usual cumbersome "getting it in the stand" process. This year the battle was quick luckily.
We got it in the house and placed in our traditional spot.
Next is the light experience, personally my least favorite part of the whole ordeal.
This year I just bit the bullet and bought all new lights to avoid the hassle of trying to figure why 1/3 of the strand wasn't working half of the time. 6 strands seemed like more than enough for our 7 foot tree but of course we were one strand short of filling the entire tree with the new lights. But I was determined to not have to go to the store again and make it work.
Finally it was time to do the part I do love; putting on all the decorations. On our honeymoon we started the tradition of picking up an ornament from every vacation we take as a souvenir to remind us the trip.
11 years later it's our favorite part of the Christmas tree; looking at the ornaments and remembering our 1 year anniversary at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington.
|Lake Tahoe 2003|
|Orcas Island 2005|
let's just say if we don't stop buying them in Cabo our tree is going to be pretty Mexico heavy!
|A newer edition from Robert Mondavi Vineyards, Napa, California 2011|
But the only one G really cares about where it gets placed on the tree is his Scotty Pippen ornament I bought him for our first Christmas in 1998.
He demands front row placement for that one.
Yep, we love Christmas traditions big & small and we can't wait to enjoy them all this season!
Enjoy the season.