Monthly Archives: December 2013

Tree Day & Traditions

Of course, I’m late to the party.  Christmas is over and I’m posting pre-Christmas photos.  {sigh}  You can tell what kind of month this has been, right?

After the Santa-believing, effortless-magic-inducing, where-your-parents-do-all-the-work years of Christmases were over, I struggled with the holidays.  I spent many a Christmas traipsing from one house to another, fulfilling everyone’s holiday traditions but my own.  There were years spent single, while everyone else seemed to be cozying up to one another, feeling very much the spinster aunt hovering somewhere in the background and trying not to be awkward.  I’ve fought feelings of anxiety and over-commercialism, over-consumerism and gift-driven guilt.  I would dread the forced smiles everyone gives each other this time of year as we fight over parking spots and Santa lines.  It wasn’t until I realized that, in the simplest of terms,  I was having trouble transitioning from spending a Christmas where I conformed to my family/friend/significant other’s holiday obligations to creating my own seasonal traditions that gave me the license to enjoy the holidays however I wanted.  Whoa… mind blown.  (We all know that I’m a late bloomer, right?  Right.)  And with that realization, I’m one step closer to becoming a bona fide adult.

The holidays, and Christmas especially, are a lot more enjoyable now, even while they consist of a lot more work.  While I’m still trying to establish my own set of traditions, I don’t hesitate to try new things to see if they’ll stick, dragging poor Kevin behind me whether he likes it or not.  (He usually does.)  Most years include kicking things off at the Holiday Ale Fest with my cousins.   Come October, I start my hunt for the perfect holiday ugly sweater (a must-have here in PDX).  Thanks to a tip-off from a sweet friend, this year we got our boogie on with the amazing Aaron Meyer at his holiday concert.  Then there’s trying my hand at baking both the much-loved cookies of my childhood and the found recipes of my own, selected with my guy’s sweet tooth in mind.  And of course, we cannot forget the all-important Christmas Tree.

When I was young and single and living in Southern California, I would go out on Christmas Eve to a desperate lot willing to off-load the last of their trees to last-minute shoppers.  I would pick the saddest, Charlie-Browniest Noble Fir tree of them all and then argue that it should be heavily discounted since no one else in their right mind was going to give it a home at that late hour.   These days, I live in the place where those sad little San Diego trees of Christmas Past were born –  right here in the Pacific Northwest.  And instead of heading to the Big Box Store or Big Mall parking lot, we go right to the source and chop the damn thing down ourselves.  Huzzah!

This year’s excursion is brought to you by a tree farm that is also home to some very mellow sheep, a very muddy field, a bit of fog, and my ever-patient, sweet lumberjack of a dude.  Thanks for humoring me, babe.

And finally, the result of this year’s hard work…

While it’s tough to eliminate all stress, it’s so nice to finally enjoy Christmas.  Whatever your traditions and however may you celebrate, I hope yours was merry & bright!  Happy Holidays!