Original Post: December 2017
How is it that a Christmas tree can continue to carry the childhood magic of Christmas long after you've outgrown the idea of Santa Clause or dancing nutcrackers coming alive while you sleep? I feel the same enchantment I felt as a child picking out the perfect tree and unboxing special ornaments. Christmas trees make wherever you're celebrating feel like home and family. They are Christmas morning memories, forever tied to the excitement and hope of unwrapping the perfect gift, and the peace and calm of reading by the soft glow of twinkle lights.
Every year when we set out to find our Christmas tree, I think of my brothers running around and playing hide-and-seek at our local tree lot. And even though it was just a parking lot outside of a Home Depot, it was still magic. Tradition has a way of doing that- making ordinary things remarkable. And this year, we think we found a new tradition for our family: Krueger's Christmas Tree Farm.
Not too far from our home, the Krueger family grows and sells their own Christmas trees every year. They serve hot cider, Santa makes regular appearances, and the atmosphere is straight out of an old Hollywood Christmas movie.
"How could you have Christmas without a Christmas tree?"- Kevin McCallister
And even though it was our first time there, it's the nature of Christmas to bring back memories and remind you of home and family. The timeless setting reminded me of stories my grandpa tells of when he had his own Christmas tree lot in Santa Monica, back when it only cost an extra 25 cents per foot to have your tree flocked, and when a tree wasn't a tree without tinsel. Grandpa sold trees to movie stars and hand-selected the 18-foot tree for the Beverley Hills Hilton Hotel Lobby ("It was a marvelous tree!"). I once saw an old black & white home video of Grandpa in Oregon loading up his truck with trees for his lot, and I felt I was a part of that too- that my tradition was his tradition and that our Christmas trees connect us in the same what that the Christmas spirit does with strangers throughout the month of December.
Dad, Uncle John, and Aunt Kim under one of Grandpa's Trees. Early 1960s.
Our tree this year is almost like our very own Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future- decorated with ornaments purchased this year with visions of Annie enjoying them for years to come, but also with ornaments from childhood and from Christmases each year since we were married.
"O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort
through all time."
We ask a lot of our little tree: Tradition, connection, home, family, Christmas. But ultimately, in our home, I hope it can stand with all of its meaning and be this reminder to us: "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." -Luke 2: 10-11
Merry Christmas from the Robertsons!!!
If you can go at night, I suggest you do! The bonfire and lights added a whole new element of magic to the experience.
Even in the freezing rain, we had so much fun picking out our tree, meeting Santa, and playing in the snow! And in spite of the weather, the place was packed with smiling Minnesotans (bundled up, of course :)