One of my favorite traditions as a child was cutting down our own Christmas tree. I have such great memories of getting our permit for a tree in the mountains by Mt. Lassen, seeing snow (it was a novelty back then when I had to go to the snow), and having hot cocoa.
Four years ago we took Tori to cut down our Christmas tree and decorate it. This is an annual tradition we plan to do with all of our children, so yesterday we took the boys to Elizabeth Farms in Lititz.
We had planned to ride the horse-drawn wagons to pick out a tree and cut it down ourselves, but when we arrived the lines were incredibly long! It was a great reminder about managing expectations when going out with toddlers – you have to do life at their pace. We knew they would not last for 1-3 hours in the cold, waiting in line. So, we opted to still enjoy the farm and pick a pre-cut tree, instead. All that mattered was that we had a great time as a family and came home with a tree.
The boys loved seeing the animals and proudly told us what sounds they make.
They also LOVED the model train that was set-up inside the barn. Isaiah would sign “more” every time the train went out of sight. The train was one of the deciding factors for us when deciding where to get our tree this year.
We found a beautiful (huge) Douglas Fir (my favorite!) within our budget, loaded it into the van, and headed home, only to find that we didn’t know where our tree stand was. A trip to Lowe’s later, we were able to start decorating!
I loved watching the boys look at the lights on the tree with such wonder. We helped them put some ornaments on the tree at their level (ones that they can take off and won’t break) and it was a great first experience.
Christmas time is wonderful and I pray that they treasure this season as much as we do. After all, the birth of Jesus is the reason we have “endless hope and relentless joy” (click to hear the song). ❤