As we get ready for the Christmas season we are enjoying a lot of our favorite activities. We are finally enjoying Christmas music, we are thinking of gifts to prepare or make for friends and family and getting ready to decorate our tree and home.
After church we went to a tree farm to pick and cut our Christmas tree. You would think with all of the kids we have we would choose an easier method. We did love it! It was nice to be out in nature, enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine. The scene was picturesque with a lake surrounded by evergreen trees of all types. We enjoyed the hike as we tried to pick a tree within our budget, that we all liked…try that with 5 different people and their different opinions 🙂
After we found our tree, my husband cut it, and the boys cried out “timber!!” 🙂 It was memorable! The last time we did this our oldest sons were 3 and 2 years old and I was pregnant with my 3rd son. This time was a bit more special for a number of reasons: The boys are older and better able to appreciate the experience and I was not 9 month pregnant. This time I was carrying the baby on my back.
It was a special time at the farm. When we first got there the boys approached an older man who was there with his roosters. They were able to carry the roosters and feed them. They, of course, asked lots of questions. We then searched for our tree while at the same time enjoying a nice hike on what surprisingly a sunny day. We ended our time there with cookies and hot cocoa.
Bob Hope once said: “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” Today was filled with simple things, but these are what made it special. It was a family activity that did not cost us anything (besides the cost of the tree) but one that may be remembered and talked about decades from now. One day one or more of my children will be telling their kids or even their grandchildren about that cold day in Cleveland, December 2012, when their family went on a hike looking for their Christmas tree.
My 3-year-old may remember riding on the sled with the tree while his older brothers pulled him. My oldest son might never forget helping his father cut the tree and bringing it up the hill. My 6-year-old will never forget holding the rooster and listening to the elderly guy tell him about what kind of food it liked.
What made it special to me was that we were all there, together. I grew up with my brother and two sisters and amazing parents. I have endless memories of great family times together and many of them are of days like today. We were, and still are a very close family. After my dad passed away 1 year ago I have learned to appreciate this blessing I used to overlook. Though my mother and my siblings and I are still very close, whenever we get together there will always be one of us missing. There is nothing that will fill that void.
Today I am thankful I even had those years to enjoy with our family, with all of us together under one roof, for so long. I am especially thankful for the memories of the simple things now and have learned to appreciate the simple moments I have today with my husband and my children.
As parents, especially in our society, we try so hard to make our children “happy”. We go on trips, buy the latest technology or pay for the cool gym class, just to get to see the priceless smiles on their faces. But we all know that it is usually the simple things that they will always remember and that bring the greatest joy to their little souls.