Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a charlie brown christmas

some people head toward the mountains, piling their brood into a pickup, the cold air tickling their fingers. they go to the same place each year--their special spot-- and choose the perfect one, checking the bed of the truck the whole way home to make sure it's secure. others go to the local grocery store parking lot, the one right on the edge of town, that never fails to impress with its selection. some, like me and robert, have a fake one sitting in their basement all spring and summer long, just waiting to make its grand, glorious debut, raining with lights.

however you obtain your christmas tree, it is special to you and unique to your family. it is undoubtedly a tradition. this weekend, i accompanied my family on a trip that i take every single weekend after thanksgiving.

a trip to the backyard.

behind my parents' house is a little field. in the summer, corn grows tall, and in the winter, the dried, red cobs decorate the ground. it is a little cove, surrounded by trees with a creek bubbling in the back. it is peaceful and secluded, and may very well be the place we one day build our home.

every year since i can remember, my family has trekked a few yards south and chosen our christmas tree from the many that stand proud around the circumference of the field. these are no model trees. they are scraggly and uneven. some don't even have backsides, and we have to carefully position them in the living room corner so you can't tell. one christmas, we picked one that, unbeknownst to us, had poision ivy in its branches. i spent that december with a rash over my eye and from then on, we learned to be a little more careful in our selection.

every time we go on this little adventure, my dad brings along his little handsaw. we'll always have a little lighthearted bickering about which "charlie brown" tree we should pick. they usually end up looking a little like bushes.

our weekend expedition in pictures:

heading out

my brother and his girlfriend. totally in love.

my precious mama and dad

me and my sweet sister

 our selection

carrying it home

one day, i hope to always decorate our little home with a real tree. but if we don't, that's OK too. robert and i will create our own traditions, just as mama and dad created this one for our family. and last night, with pandora set to the "peaceful holidays" channel, and our pajamas on, we decorated our fake tree. like the one we chopped down, it is tiny, misshapen, and a bit sparse. but on it hang ornaments that serve as little mementos of our life together up to now. there's the hot air balloon from our time in albuquerque last fall. the sears tower one from the trip we took to chicago. the "operation christmas child" one we got this weekend when we helped ship shoeboxes overseas.

and i am thankful. that while i can still participate in my family's traditions, the ones that shaped and defined my childhood, i can also create new ones with my little family. years from now, we'll look back at our younger selves, dancing around to carols in our socks, sashaying with pablo in our arms until we fell into a heap on the sofa, and we'll be glad. our love isn't perfect, but like our trees, that's what makes it so special.


lindsay said...

i love this tradition that you and your family have...and am excited to see the new traditions that your new little family creates :)

i have always thought it would be lovely to go out into the wilderness to find that perfect tree for christmas every year. we do not have a space around us where we can do this, but it would be nice to start this tradition for ourselves in the future to share with our family who can then share it with there's :)


Ana* said...

Family traditions are the best. Following them is exciting, creating new ones is kind of magical.

Anonymous said...

ornaments are involved in my family traditions, too. and jj and i get one every year together that reminds us of our year together. i love it.

my family watches the charlie brown christmas movie every year together, too. i think that tree looks beautiful! i loved reading this :)

Christi said...

Aww... that one made me a little emotional. Lovely post.

Jeska said...

what a beautiful tradition! you should post a picture of it decorated!

Thisisme said...

How wonderful to be able to choose a tree so close to your parent's home It sounds like a wonderful tradition, and thank you for sharing it. As you quite rightly say, you and Robert will also create your own traditions, and that's how it should be.

Peaches said...

It's nice that you get the best of both worlds, a real tree at your parents and a fake one at your place. Reading your post is helping me get in the Christmas spirit. It makes me want to get our little fake trees from the in-laws so we can decorate too! Are you going to post your decorated tree? I think you should ;)

Jude said...

How absolutely wonderful and sweet - so special that you have this tradition and it's centered so closely around home (in both a physical and emotional sense). Just lovely.

Oh, and I love the Charlie Brown picture! :)

Laura Marie said...

So sweet... I love this :) This is Radley & I's second Christmas living together, so we've already created a few traditions and it's just so special to see how our old traditions with families have been reshaped a bit so that we share them together.

Thanks for sharing! Hope you're having a good week :)
xo Laura Marie

Young People in Love said...

Tagged you!

Anonymous said...

I love little Charlie Brown trees, they need love too! I actually have a mini Charlie Brown tree on a stand with the lone sad red ornament hanging from it. It fits perfectly on our mantle next to the big "normal" tree :)

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

HOW FUN! Oh I really need to do a tree :).

Blondie's Journal said...

Very sweet post! We cut down a tree one year for our lake house in Michigan and it was very special. We still get a fresh tree and I love picking it out. My kids are 'too old' to do this with us now, but I know it is still a special time of year for them and the memories we share. Cherish yours!


~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

That was fun!! Charlie Brown, made me think of my childhood, thank you for the memories today. xx

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

What a lovely tradition!

Amber Blue Bird said...

once again i am blown away with your writing. Your family tradition is so cute, i wish i had trees like that in my backyard

Laura said...

Love reading your posts. You're a fantastic story teller! Lx

Kelsey said...

What a great post, I always love reading what you write. My mom switched to fake trees after my brother and I left the nest. Nothing beats a real tree and the smell it brings to the house. I'm sure your tree turned out beautiful, I can't wait to see a picture!

a whole lotta love said...

I love your stories and your writing. They are the most beautiful thing. I love your parent's tradition. That is so fun!

Allison said...

Awww, I love this tradition! And Laura is so right- you're a wonderful story teller! Thanks for sharing this moment with us. :)

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

Looks like you had a wonderful weekend and what a great tree you found in your that!

Liesl :)

-Sam I Am- said...

You and your pictures are perfect.

The end :)

JANE said...

Just delightful, Courtney! Thanks so much for taking us with your family on its memory-making. Just lovely. J x

Nicole said...

OH MY GOSH! I love Christmas traditions! It's so COOL that you could just go to your backyard and get a tree!!

Signe said...

This week has been waaay too busy! I'm behind on catching up on my favorite blogs and didn't get to read this post until now!

At least it was a great start to my Friday :)
Love your family tradition and it is very similar to ours, we always went out to cut our own Christmas tree around my grandma’s house. My parents still do but now they have the Christmas tree outside the house with lights on it. It always looks amazing with all the snow on it.

Have a great weekend :)

shopgirl said...

I didn't grow up with many family traditions, so I'm really in awe of this. You look like you have a great and loving family.

p.s. thanks so much for your sweet comment Courtney. I like yours too, and I look forward to reading more posts.

Rambles with Reese

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