One of my favorite Christmas traditions we do is head up to Evergreen at the end of November/beginning of December to pick out a Christmas tree. It's the closest experience I have found to going out and chopping down a tree (which is what we always did growing up in Sweden) but this way the kids still get a say in the tree we pick out. And let me tell ya, Jasper is pretty picky about the tree we choose. And this year he picked a winner! He wanted it big, fluffy, and smelling good and that is what we got.
It was a cold day (high of 10 in Denver, I'm guessing several degrees colder in the mountains, but the sun was out and we were thrilled as always to get out of the city. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts on our way up, and I'm thinking that needs to be a part of the tradition from hear on out, because coffee, donuts and tree picking really just works.
After we picked our tree out we walked over to where Santa was hanging out (they have a santa there on weekends!) and I knew Jasper would be thrilled to let the big man know what he wanted (skateboard, fish and 'deep sea adventure' thing he saw at the zoo back in october) but I figured Tindra would be a bit shy. She takes a while to warm up to guys usually, and when she is being shy she will either look down at her feet or poke herself in the eye (yeah, I know) but I wasn't quite expecting the reaction we got. Screaming. Bloody murder, like someone was trying to murder her. We only tortured her for a second, then quickly got her away from the big scary man in a red suit and bad beard. He tried to catch her eye and wave at her a few times after that, and each time, same reaction, even if he was 20 feet away. So odd.
But we got our tree, and within hours of setting her up in the living room, our entire first floor smelled delicious! I definitely recommend frasier firs (not sure how that's spelled) it's what we have gotten the past two years and we have been very pleased!
After we got our tree set up in the living room we went to pick out our yearly Christmas ornament while she defrosted (there was ice/snow on most of the branches from recent snow in the mountains.) I can't tell you how much I love this tradition we started 7 years ago. Every year we let Jasper pick whatever he wants (this year it took him foreeeeever- too many choices!) and it's so much fun going through all of the ornaments each year, talking about when we picked what ornament and why. This was the first year Jasper asked weeks ago when we were going to get an ornament, so it's obviously a tradition he remembers and loves also!
We started it our first Christmas as a family because we were two college students with basically no decorations to our name, and as much as I wanted to go out and buy buy buy all the decorations I could see it just didn't make sense. One, we were on a preeeeetty strict budget and two, we were going to be gone for almost the entire month of December so it really didn't make sense to go out all out. So I came up with the idea of buying a little fake tree, some red and gold balls and each of us picking one special ornament, with the idea that each year we would add to our collection. We have since ditched the red balls, and now we have the most amazing variety of ornaments that are so special to us!
This year Drew chose a large star, I chose a camera, Jasper picked buzz and Tindra wandered around oooing at all the different ones, but the 4-5 that caught her eye I lined up in front of her and she grabbed a fox with gold sparkles on it's chest and tail. Not surprising, giving her love of all things fox! I can't wait till next year to see what she picks as by then she will know a little bit more what's going on!