We’re not the typical family that does Christmas tree shopping the day after Thanksgiving. We usually wait until a week or so before the big day — ultimately left with the slim pickin’s in Home Depot’s parking lot.
Bag it up, we’ll say with a shoulder shrug. We’ll take that sad, droopy leftover in the corner.
But now that our son is getting bigger — now that he’s fully cocooned in the magic that is Santa and reindeer and childhood — we’re putting more effort into consistent memory-building holiday cheer. Not because we’re forcing traditions or masking our inner Grinch; it’s because his excitement reminds us how fleeting and precious this time is for him.
Because it’s Christmas! It’s the sparkliest, friendliest, most beloved holiday for kids.
And so here we are, the day after Thanksgiving, with garland wrapped around our banister, a mini faux Christmas tree set up in his room, stockings hung with anticipation, and a saw in my husband’s hand as we traipse through a local Christmas tree farm.
(I hardly recognize ourselves.)
Was that us playing Christmas music throughout the house on November 29th? Was that my family riding a hayride through a field of Christmas trees — with a world (or farm) of trees to choose from? Was that my baby running through aisles of shin-deep grass, pointing and critiquing and yelling “THIS IS THE TREE! THIS IS OUR TREE!”?
It was toe-numbingly cold, but we were together.
It was slightly more expensive, but we made memories.
It was completely uncharacteristic, yet felt completely right.
We were a family in the fields of that Christmas tree farm, and the holiday season has only begun.