Traditions are these intimate moments we put into place in our lives to give us something to look forward to year after year. Some start in the generations past while others start by you, for your great grandkids to emulate.
Traditions are beautiful and weather you think you have them or not, you do.
I've alway thought my family was too laid-back or just not sentimental enough for traditions until I began reminiscing and remembering the minuet details of my upbringing that I looked forward to year after year.
My mom nagging at us to throw our orange peels in her stove top, potpourri. Never thought I'd say it but the saying rings true here. I am my mothers daughter and now nag at my husband to keep his orange peels so I can make my own and hot box my house with humidity that smells of orange, cinnamon and whatever else I fancy.
My dad making our Christmas breakfast. Eggs Benedict. "Kids, this is an extremely difficult recipe. See how gently I'm whisking the sauce? It's all in the whisk." Also known as big freakin' kitchen mess. Oh the joys of dads cooking. I will not be asking my husband to carry that one out.
Listening to Hawaiian singer, Izzy, driving up the ski mountain. Don't really see the correlation there. Good to know taking the non-conventional route is genetic.
Grand or humble, we all have traditions.
If you're still reading, we most likely share bloodline, and you know the aforementioned is not my style of story telling so let's get to the good stuff, shall we.
So it's Christmas time and Mitchell and I decided to create our very own and very first family tradition. Which by the way, I never thought we'd do given my lousy planning skills and inability to fixate on small, sentimental details. My husband still reminds me of the day I ate our wedding cake topper as a snack after gardening without him. Cake is cake to me.
This year we'll be the pure, picture perfect American family, cutting down our very own Christmas tree. Creating our own traditions.
I was so excited, I even made Mitchell grab one of the old school bow saws you see in Swedish post cards and leave his lumber porn chainsaw in the car.
We packed into the car with the toddler and dog, and all in our wool hats and socks and drove to a cute tree farm. Making traditions. What could go wrong?
Turns out a testosterone raging toddler, golden doodle with anxiety, a mom lacking caloric intake and a dad pursing his lumber jack dream all searching for the perfect tree amongst five thousand trees can be rather stressful. Was that a run on sentence? I'm gonna go with yes. But most of mine are anyways so cheers to continuity.
For starters, our son James is very much into his penis right now. Also loves differentiating boys and girls by assigning them a penis or a "gina." His favorite place in the world is my parents cabin in the woods for many reasons with one of them being the freedom of a good pee outside. Put that kid on a tree farm and he'll make sure to pee on every other tree.
Then add a mother with a camera who thinks she knows what she's doing and gets borderline demanding. "Just walk a little to the left." "Ya like that but more natural." "James look at mamma. Look at mamma! LOOK AT ME DAMNIT!"
Kidding. Crossed my mind though. We all go there, don't be judgmental.
Thor, our golden doodle, is pulling our arm off and peeing on more trees than James as we walk across the entire farm looking for thee tree.
Like every little girl, I want to be just like my mamma so I needed to find the tree that made her home look like a Restoration Hardware Christmas catalogue. You know the kind that some how makes a sappy pine tree look chic AF. Tall, but not giant, bare, but not too bare, green, but not too green. That one.
We finally find our tree and Mitchell pulls out the measuring tape. You can see who pays attention to detail in this relationship. Sure enough it's our tree. He pulls out the dull saw I made him carry over the top of the line chain saw strictly for boojy photo purposes.
Tree comes down, kids still alive and not under it. All is good in our world.
I tipped the teenage boy who drives around hauling everyones tree back to the farms shop only $3, feeling like the ultimate Christmas scrooge, and we're off to decorate our perfect tree.
Mitchell decorated the tree while I endeavored some fresh garland crafts. Tree looks like what I dreamt my first family Christmas tree would. My garland crafts, meh, not so much but I hung them for the sake of embracing individuality and because they're wanky as hell and funny to look at.
So our first family tradition has been made. Not a grand tradition that takes any planning, but that's not who we are. We will have little traditions everywhere, just like I had growing up, that we might not ever label or recognize as traditions, but will bring us joy year after year and for the years to come.