The Tradition Remains

tra·di·tion/trəˈdiSHən/

Noun:
  1. The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
  2. A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way.
When I try to recall our family traditions, usually the holidays pop up.  We don’t really have a lot of traditions that don’t have to do with a holiday.  Christmastime is, of course my favorite!
Tradition 1:  I think our most important tradition we began last year is our own Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent (the coming of Christ).  The Tree of Jesse is a depiction in symbols of the ancestors of Christ in accordance to Isaiah’s prophecy.
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1
Our family celebrates Advent by reading a story from a Jesse Tree Book and doing a daily devotional.
We have an ornament to represent each symbol and the kids hang it on the Jesse Tree.  When we’re done-they open up their candy Advent calendar.  Just in case you’re ever thinking I have really deep kids…I want you to know that when I say “C’mon let’s do our Advent devotional!!”  They say “YAY!! We get our candy when we’re done!”
The kids and a couple friends painted some crosses and we glued different names of Jesus on them and we use them as more ornaments for the Jesse Tree.
Tradition 2:  We also have a very special tradition of taking a trip to ride the Polar Express.  The gift of experience & family memories are gifts that last forever.
Last year we went to Durango, CO. but this year we will be riding the Polar Express in Arizona!!  This will be extra special because my sister lives in Flagstaff so we’re making a weekend out of it and the kids can see their Aunt, Uncle and Cousin and we can go sledding with plenty of snow to make angels and snowmen!! ~memories~
Tradition 3: Speaking of gifts…Mike and I get our kids 3 gifts…to represent the 3 gifts that were brought to the King in the manger by the Three Wisemen: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  That is not to say there won’t be ooodles of gifts for them under the tree (we have lots of grammies and family!) so I don’t think they actually “get” any meaning behind this tradition yet 🙂
Tradition 4:  Of course we make and decorate Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses but we also bake a birthday cake for Jesus.
Tradition 5:  We eat Chicken Tortilla Soup on Christmas Eve (you can get the fabulous recipe (not mine so I can say that :)) under the tab “What We Ate Tonight” on the right). I have no idea why.  Maybe because it is in the crock-pot, hot and ready to eat when we get home from church. Maybe because the red tomatoes in the Rotel and the green in the cilantro look Christmassy…I don’t know…but it’s tradition….and it’s delicious.
Tradition 6:  But…the tradition I am blogging to tell you about is the Griswold  Buck Family Tree!  You see just a couple years ago, that skinny, pre-lit tree that is now our Jesse Tree was our Buck Family Christmas Tree.  Enter some dear friends who invited us to participate in their family traditon of going to the Jemez Mountians and chopping down our own!!  We had a blast!  But, you quickly lose perspective on size when you are surrounded by massive trees in a forest.
Sure, I had a couple clues it was going to be a monster…
But when they brought it into the house and I saw just how big it was…I almost cried.  I didn’t want that monstrosity in my living room. Mainly because we didn’t  have room for anything else (like a couch :)) and our tree skirt was too small and we didn’t own enough lights for it and and and it was huuuuuuuuge…
But once we (borrowed) enough lights and got it strung and put all of our personal ornaments on it (no filler balls!!) I WAS IN LOVE.  That is actually an understatement.  This was our tree!
And so began the tradition.
So…this year I was looking forward to finding our new Rockefeller.  But, when it didn’t work out to go Thanksgiving weekend and then it didn’t work out to go the next…or the next…I realized it wasn’t going to  happen.  So today-after accepting that fact-I broke down and agreed to go to a (gulp) tree lot!  I was so sad to “break” the one-annual tradition :)! I also was sad to break the budget (as this was not in it!) I knew there was noooooooo way we were going to be able to afford a Rockefeller anyway.  Bummed.
We went to Galloping Grace.  We figured if anyone was getting our money….they should!!  Oh there was my beauty right when we walked in.  A beautiful 12 foot Fir.  Price Tag: $185.00.  Bye beautiful 12 foot Fir.  The other ones…around $85.00.  Mike suggested we go and just loooook at Home Depot to see how their prices compared.  So we loaded back in the car.  I was convinced that I could “puppy dog eye” Mike and get the beautiful 12 foot Fir but really…even if money were no object for us…I knew that was not a wise way to spend that kind of money.
Then…BAM!  Light bulb!
“Honey…I have an idea…let’s run home for a second”…
He just smiled.
“C’mon babe.  Let’s do it!  This is really livin’ off the land now.”
So the tradition remains:  We cut down our own Christmas tree.
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