Rituals | The Christmas Tree
| image courtesy of Cup of Jo |
The Elsie Green team all agrees that Black Friday shopping is a no-go. Instead we all use that day to do some volunteer work, then choose our trees.
We usually get our tree on Black Friday and spend our day decorating it instead of in crazy lines and fighting over deals. I love the silvertip tree. It reminds me of Charlie Brown Christmas. We turn on Christmas carols, make some mulled wine, and enjoy unpacking each of our ornaments. Each year we buy a special ornament and tag it with the year so that we can look back on all of our ornaments as a couple and as a family each Christmas season. It's so fun to see what ornament my son Griffin picks out all on his own.
The Furbers (JP, Laurie, Andie & Katie)
We have gone to the same tree lot every year since the kids were very small. We bundle everyone up and head out mid-morning into the hills. JP gently guides us along the way so we all know what size and type of tree we're looking for. Then we fan out and each finds something that fits JP's criteria. The kids are not aware that JP and I have already agreed which of our children gets to choose the tree that year. So when each shows us their favorite, we both gush over the expertise and impeccable taste of the child whose turn we've decided it is. When the kids were babies we saved one pair of shoes from each of them to hang on the tree. Now that they're grown and don't live together year-round anymore, they wait until they're all together and hang their shoes on the tree together.
Our Christmas tree ritual goes a little something like this: visit the Christmas tree lot as many times as it takes to find the “perfect tree.” I’ll know it when I see it. The going record in the last six years is four visits. I know this makes me sound like a nightmare to shop with and my husband thought as such the first year we got a tree together, but he’s since embraced it as a charming quirk. Once we’ve found the one, we’ll pick a Wes Anderson film and share a glass of whiskey (on the rocks for me, neat for him) while we decorate the tree.
Sepi's Top 3 Favorite Wes Anderson Films
The Darjeeling Limited
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Royal Tenenbaums
We cut down our tree together as a family, shop for one new ornament each year and alternate putting the tree topper on top. My favorite ornament is vintage, we bought it for my daughter one year when she fell in love with it. I remember the moment so well because it was so fragile and she was too young to handle it but it brought her such joy!
Growing up in the great white north, wading through the snow, a thermos full of hot chocolate in thick mitted hand, and searching for the perfect tree to cut down with my mom and brother is a memory I hold dearest in my heart. And while I can't relive this exact scenario with my young family here in California, hunting for the perfect tree in sunshine with the backdrop of hilly vistas has taken on its own charm. We visit the same tree farm every year, and all scatter and then hilariously try to find each other without leaving our perfect tree to go see each others perfect tree. It has turned into the funniest tree adventure. My perfect tree is always a silver tip, but some years I lose the battle.
No matter the tree, unwrapping the ornaments that have been passed down to me from my great-grandparents, grandparents and my own mother and decorating with my kids is the best night of the year. We choose a new ornament each year to add to our collection of memories.
I grew up next to a Christmas tree farm, so each year, I eagerly awaited the day my family and I would walk down the street to pick out our tree. My brother and I would go to the shop first to pick out one new ornament to add to our collection, along with hot spiced apple cider. My favorite thing was walking through the rows of Christmas trees, smelling the fragrance from the trees, and sipping on apple cider. After we chose our tree, we would come home and take out all of our ornaments to decorate our tree. We make spiced cider on our stove and look at ornaments from years past. The smell of pine and cider filling our home has always been the perfect way to end the night, filling us with warmth and excitement for my favorite holiday.