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We’re not getting a Christmas tree this year. It’s tempting to call ourselves Scrooges or Grinches, but I’ll refrain. We’re not misers, nor are our hearts ten sizes too small. It’s simply become a tradition that we’re not in the mood to carry out this year.

Looking back at my past blog posts concerning our annual trip to forage for a Christmas tree, I see that it’s a tradition that’s been petering out. See here, here, and here. The part of it that we’ve always enjoyed is the tramping around outside to select a tree and having hot chocolate afterward. When it comes to setting up and decorating the tree, no one is interested. In fact, last year the only decoration we managed was lighting.

Perhaps this is my fault. When I was a kid, my siblings and I were tasked with stringing popcorn and cranberries onto thread. A tedious job. The popcorn kept breaking and the cranberries were hard and slippery when poked. Often, the needle slipped and pricked my fingers. The popcorn and cranberry strings were strung on the tree like garland. The tree was officially decorated on Christmas Eve. Always. We were allowed to put on one ornament at a time, with the sibs and me taking our turns. It took FOREVER.  I can’t get jazzed about putting up a Christmas tree with those memories and my lack of enthusiasm seems to have rubbed off on the kids.

This year, rather than engage in parts of a tradition we don’t enjoy, we’re going to cut those out and do the fun parts. When all the kids are home, we’ll plan for a time when we go for a walk in Nature. We may take a picture of ourselves with a tree … if we remember a camera. We’ll leave the tree right where it is and go to a restaurant for hot chocolate. (I know of two local restaurants that serve divine hot chocolate.) Then we’ll come home and chill out.  And we won’t have to play the game of “Keep the Puppy Away from the Tree.” Nor will we have to water a tree or sweep up needles or get sap on our fingers. Woohoo!

In order to provide a little holiday cheer in the house, I’ve decorated two windows, one with Christmas stockings (I love Christmas stockings!), one with assorted ornaments.


Christmas stockings in the window, December 2010.
Christmas stockings in the window, December 2010.
Christmas ornaments at the top of a window, December 2010.
Christmas ornaments at the top of a window, December 2010.

In planning ahead for next Christmas, Hubby suggested we plant a few pine trees in the spring. When the holiday season rolls around next year, we can go visit the trees to monitor their growth and take pictures. Is this the start of a new tradition?

Have you kept, dropped or tweaked any of the holiday traditions you grew up with? Which ones? If you’ve tweaked any, how did you change them to fit your current wants and needs?