I can never say the word "tradition" without thinking of Fiddler on the Roof.

In honor of the holiday season, I’m going to re-run a series of posts I wrote last year, sharing about our family traditions.  Actually, I’m going to use them as an outline, but I plan to edit and revise and tweak until they are a just a skeleton of their original posts.  OCD much?

Twelve years ago, I was a new bride of only four months when my husband informed me that his family always went to a tree farm to cut down their Christmas tree the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Due to allergies, I grew up with artificial trees, so the idea of having not only a real tree, but actually going to cut it down sounded like a scene from a storybook.  I couldn’t WAIT to go.

So that Black Friday of 1995, we set out to
get my very first "REAL" Christmas tree.  I had so much fun tromping through the trees in search of the perfect one.  We came home planning to keep the tree hydrated in a pot of water on
the front porch for a week or two until it was time to decorate it, as
his family always did. 

But being the bastion of patience that I am, I just couldn’t wait to decorate our first
Christmas tree so I talked Hubby into setting up and decorating it
that day.  And thus began our annual tradition of getting our tree and putting it up on Thanksgiving weekend. 

Ever since, on Black Friday, when half of the population is rushing
to the shopping malls and getting into fisticuffs over the Toy of the
Year, our family is bumping along in a tractor-drawn wagon at a local
tree farm in search of The Tree.

Afterwards, while Husband is getting the tree situated in its stand and stringing the lights, I pour some eggnog, turn on the Christmas music, and get to work unpacking the ornaments.  The kids love to help, although of course some of them are more helpful than others. 

This year we were in Virginia for Thanksgiving, so we have not been to get our tree yet.  In fact, tomorrow is the big day.  Now that our kids are old enough to participate and anticipate the event, it’s even more fun than ever.

So when do you get your tree?  Is it live or artificial?  Do you decorate it right away?  If you post about your own Christmas Tree tradition on your blog, let me know in my comments so I can be sure to come check it out.

Join The Conversation

20 Responses

  1. I put up 5 artificial trees and I put them up Thanksgiving weekend. 2 of the trees are small 3 ft. trees in the girls rooms. They have their own decorations and I just let them decorate them however they want. I have one tree in the foyer that is all red and green with Christopher Radko style ornaments. And the one in the family room is casual and filled with family ornaments (we always exchanged ornaments with my husbands side of the family) and I have one in our guest bedroom in the basement. I pretty much let the kids decorate that one as well.

    I was planning on posting about Christmas trees this weekend. I’ll let you know.

  2. We usually get our tree on the 16th because that’s my mom’s birthday. But this year I think we are going to cut down the tree either this weekend or next, because we will be gone for Christmas and want to enjoy it for a bit!

  3. We’ve started a tradition (this year) that we’ll put our (artificial) tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We haven’t put a tree up in 4 years (didn’t want to deal with the kids getting into it) so this year was fun for everyone. Good greif- maybe I could have put one more set of () in that sentence!

  4. We always cut down our tree on the day after Thanksgiving with my extended family and friends of my parents from college and their family. My parents and their friends have been doing this since my mom was pregnant with me! We get up early in the morning, bundle up and get our tree. We all used to go in one station wagon (with the five of us kids in the “way back”). Now that we’re all grown and (some of us) with families of our own, we have to take multiple vehicles. We’ve seen the Christmas tree farms become McMansion developments but we can always find one somewhere in Chester County. Nothing’s better than sipping hot cocoa, bought from the Boy Scout stand at the tree farm, while my hubby ties the tree to the top of the SUV and we plan where to go out to breakfast!

  5. so. every year my boy and i debate over getting a real tree (my idea) vs. a fake one (his idea). and our christmas is ALL sorts of screwed up this year due to unexpected family events, so who knows when we’ll be able to put it up this time around. i think, though, for the past 2 years, we actually put it up the weekend prior to Christmas. to where, like, you get the LAST pick. lol. and we go to a little guy out here that has a nursery that i guess doesn’t do too well throughout the year, but every year we stop over a get a tree and a poinsettia (in honor of my mom, who loves them and lives in NC). and last year i started my tradition of packing up the Christmas stuff on new year’s day, while playing Elf on the tv, while my boyf sleeps in. because i’m nice that way 😛

  6. we’ve had both. We started out with live trees and then bought an artificial tree a few years ago. It is at my in-laws in PA still, so this year we will probably have a real tree.

    With homemade decorations… since those are also still in PA.


  7. I don’t know if we have a strict tradition. We have always had a fake tree, because it’s less mess that way. And the 3 girls have always decorated it every year (my mom, myself, and my sister). But now my sister is married, so it’s just me and my mom. We don’t have a set day either, just as long as it’s early December. I’m not one for starting Christmas in November. It’s too early for me. But then again, I AM Canadian. 😉

  8. We always used to get a real tree until one year they were so dry that a week and a half before Christmas we were scared to turn on the lights on it. It was that much of a fire hazard. So since then, I’ve found a beautiful artificial tree and got a great deal on it. We put it up the first weekend of December. The kid’s each have their own ornaments, which they get one of each year in their stockings, and they hang those. We play Christmas music and drink egg nog or hot chocolate. And when it’s done we usually try to watch a Christmas movie.

  9. I posted about my horrendous live tree experiences on my site. Artificial for me. It’s to prevent my own death. Live trees hate me.

  10. I haven’t decked a single hall yet but I have watched Family Man twice and addressed Christmas cards. We have an artificial tree that takes about 30 seconds to put up and I love getting out all the ornaments so I’m not sure why it’s taking me this long to get started. Oh wait! It’s still November!
    LOVE the goofy faces family picture! We’re totally going to do that this year!

  11. Not sure where I linked from or if I have commented yet, but I lov ereal Christmas trees even if they are a pain in the butt.

    We are getting ours this weekend. Ahhh, many photos to be had!

  12. I love the below picture. Ya’ll look FUN! I don’t have any established traditions. This is our first year with a child….I’m hoping to start some!

  13. We have an artificial tree that I love to put up on Thanksgiving weekend. We arrived home from our Thanksgiving travels late last Saturday night, and I convinced my husband to put up our tree the next day. So far, it’s the only thing we’ve decorated, but I’m hoping to pull the other decorations out this weekend and get things finished up. Good luck tree hunting! Sounds like a fun family day.

  14. Ugh, do I have to talk about a tree? (Bah humbug…)

    I could not pass up this opportunity, however bah humbuggy it made me feel, to tell you what an ADORABLE family you have. Just ALL OF YOU! ADORABLE!

  15. I love your pictures! We usually get our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (I have to go shopping on Friday) We always go to a local tree farm,usually someone we know. Sometimes we get some for our family and drive down to deliver them.

    I know what you mean about the decorative scissors! You should see my Marriage/honeymoon pages.

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