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Busy day today. The Christmas season has snuck up on us and here we are, less than a week away, and we’ve finally gotten around to picking out a tree and doing our gift shopping. And we chose to do it all the same day.

Hubby picked Eldest Son up from college yesterday. He’s officially on break. We wanted him to be home when we went to pick out a Christmas tree because it’s one of the few traditions we keep as a family.

For us, it’s not necessarily about having a tree in the house. We would be fine with selecting a tree then standing beside it and having our picture taken and leaving the tree standing. The important part for us is the act of going to pick one out at an area tree farm (including sipping cocoa in the gift shop), or going out to some country property owned by Hubby’s folks to cut one down. (Daughter begs to differ on the whole having a tree in the house thing. She wants one, by golly!)

Today we opted for the trip to Hubby’s parents’ property.

Christmas tree adventure

Making our way through the snow and weeds. Note that I'm wearing my Peruvian flute band hat.

Here four of us are trudging onto the property through the snow and weeds. Eldest Son is behind the camera. The house is abandoned and has been deteriorating for years. There was talk of pulling it down, but the neighbors like the landmark. I remember a time when we could walk into the house and go upstairs. It’s far too unsafe for that now. The whole house has fallen off its foundation.

Abandoned house

Abandoned house, slid off foundation

I wonder what kind of sound the house made as it fell. (Yeah, yeah, I know. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?) I imagine there was a tremendous racket as it hit the ground.

We wandered around the property, looking for the perfect tree. I wanted a small tree this year, and if I’d had my way, this is the one we would have taken:

Small pine tree

My favorite tree

Instead, wiser heads prevailed when it was pointed out that the trunk of this tree was too small for our stand. Shucks!

We kept looking and finally found this tree, which Daughter is menacing with a saw.

Cutting down Christmas tree

Run, Tree, Run! Daughter's got a saw!

She made short work of it while Young Son whacked at weeds with a sumac branch.

Whacking weeds with a sumac branch

Young Son whacking weeds with a sumac branch

Eldest Son and Young Son took turns carrying the tree back to the car. We have a Park Avenue, which has a trunk big enough for three bodies, so we had no trouble stuffing the tree inside. (Okay, it hung out the back some, but not much.)

Taking the tree back to the car

Daughter & Eldest Son heading back to the car. Eldest Son is the one who looks like a tree.

We took the tree home and dropped it off, then headed on a gift-shopping expedition. (I will refrain from revealing precisely what we were shopping for. Wouldn’t want to ruin any surprises now, would we?)

Holy moly! Were there people! Everywhere people! All doing pretty much what we were doing – shopping for presents. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones Christmas snuck up on this year. Sneaky Christmas!

Do you have any holiday traditions you practice with family and friends? If so, please share in the comments.

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