Before children, I romanticized about choosing a family Christmas tree. I grew up in a house where my dad assembled an artificial tree every year. The idea of going to a Christmas tree farm, or even a local tree sale, delighted me. Little did I know that selecting a tree would be a low point in our holiday season.
Year 1 (2007): Lauren is 20 months old; Will is 5 months old. My husband and I are smart enough to realize that visiting a tree farm is too big an undertaking with two babies. But we think, “Hey! Wouldn’t this be a great time to take our Christmas card photo?” The kids were not up for a photo shoot, as evidenced here:
Year 2 (2008): I’m fairly certain we were scarred from year one. Ted asked my mother-in-law to join us, so that someone could manage the children while we made our selection.
Year 3 (2009): Back to the original town sale. I stay in the car with the kids, who show no signs of interest. Ted chooses the tree, I give him the thumbs up, and we’re out of there. So much for a family experience.
Year 4 (2010): We get brave and decide to try visiting a Christmas tree farm with the kids. We visit post lunch when Will (age 3) gets tired. This is probably the most miserable Christmas tree shopping experience of my life. We end up leaving the boy in the van with his hat pulled over his eyes.
Lauren (age 4) doesn’t like the tree we’ve selected. She wants a Charlie Brown version, instead.
And here is my poor husband, trying his best to smile for the camera.
Year 5 (2011): Something happens. We return to the same tree farm, half-expecting one of our children to have a melt down, but no one does. The whole family is in a good mood and excited to find a tree. It’s a Christmas miracle 5 years in the making.