New traditions…

Change. It’s never easy.

christmas tree lot

(photo credit: Steven Dipolo/Flickr)

Today a BIG change in our Christmas tradition happened.

My family will probably think I’m silly and overreacting about such a seemingly minor change. But I don’t care. I’m mourning the change…despite the fact that it’s medically necessary. Yes…I’m still bummed.

Here’s the deal…we’ve always had a REAL Christmas tree. For 32 years. Beginning with the “charlie brown” Christmas tree we had for our very first Christmas in New Orleans. Seriously, it was pitiful…but it was beautiful to me. We were far away from family…in our new home and simply couldn’t afford a big beautiful tree. My sweet husband had to work Christmas Eve; he stopped on the way home and picked up a free, leftover tree. It was small with bare branches. We didn’t even decorate it. It was perfect!

Shopping for our Christmas tree came to symbolize (for me) the beginning of our Christmas celebration. Through the years we shopped at various tree lots, Boy Scout lots, commercially owned lots, “whoever has the best price” lots. We’ve shopped in in the warm and cold, rain and snow, daylight and dark. We used to be a family of 4 scouring the lot for the perfect tree. We’ve had flocked and evergreen. As the kids have grown into adulthood, we’ve transitioned back to just hubby and I on the hunt. Memories of the anticipation, excitement, temperature, sights, smells, sounds, lights, fires in metal drums, sawdust mixed with evergreen boughs on the ground hold a special place in my memory and heart.

Last year we discovered a new reality. Within just a couple of hours of bringing the chosen tree into our home, my hubby came down with what would become a raging sinus infection. He was perfectly healthy prior to the tree entering our home. He has a history of some pretty nasty, seasonal sinus infections often progressing to bronchitis. We had just never noticed it in relation to the Christmas tree before….but it was crystal clear. The tree was definitely a trigger. So out it went! Immediately!

This weekend, after some supportive, comparison shopping with my daughter…we finally decided on an artificial tree. Purchasing it in a big box…bringing it home to the garage…just didn’t have the same “holiday feel” as picking out the perfect tree on a tree lot. My son helped get it out of the jeep and into the garage; so technically, we ALL were involved in picking THIS tree and bringing it into our home.



New traditions. I sense there are memorable new traditions yet to develop. And hopefully, my husband will NOT be sick over the holidays this year or into the future. Healthy holidays are the plan!

Disclaimer: Christmas is clearly NOT about the tree. I know that. I value that the celebration of Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The Christmas tree in our home is merely a seasonal symbol. I value the traditions which encourage us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Thanks for “listening”…I’m feeling better already! That was a fun trip down memory lane. Perhaps some new ornaments and holiday decor will help with the transition…









4 thoughts on “New traditions…

  1. We got the same tree! I’ve never had a real tree. I am allergic to Christmas trees. Sometimes they bother me so badly I get hives. I am sorry you had to change your tradition but you will save money and time for other new holiday traditions since you don’t have to go out and buy a tree every year. At least you figured it out!

  2. I, like you..always enjoyed the real tree in my home. I loved the smell of it, and the fact that the different size and shape making each Christmas a different “look” of our living room. My family would buy them off of various tree lots most often, but there were years that we went out and found one in the wild- sometimes that made for a “Charlie Brown” tree as well. I remember one year, we even bought a live tree, then planted it in the front yard afterwards, and decorated it out there, until it got too big.
    Then one year, my mother-in-law was buying a new artificial tree and asked us if we wanted her “old” one. I always loved her tree, and live trees seemed to be getting more expensive, so we said yes. From that Christmas til this one…it has been a tree that has to be folded away in a box and drug up to the attic after the season. I miss the varying trees, but do NOT miss the prickles in the arms as we decorate, nor do I miss the added live thing in my life that needs to be watered daily or the mess of needles all over the carpet.
    We shall enjoy our artificial beauties!

    • Karen – I do miss the live tree experience…the individuality & imperfections of a live tree, this artificial one is too perfectly shaped. There was something special about trying to hide the “bald spot”, the gap in the branches. Don’t we all have those gaps? But most especially, I miss the fragrance. I’m trying a multitude of candles to find the scent. Haven’t found it yet. HOWEVER…I do NOT miss my hubby being sick!! When he just walked through a collection of cut trees & branches at an event where we were volunteering, he said his nose immediately started running. So…I am embracing this perfectly symmetrical, beautiful, artificial tree and the new traditions it will bring into our holiday celebrations.

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