This past weekend, my husband and I participated in the timeless traditions of cutting our Christmas Tree from a farm out in the country. New Jersey was blessing with several inches of snow the day before making the world a winter wonderland. I went into the adventure as a spectator to observe the precious memories being made in real time.
I was noticing that the young girls were all decked out in their finest winter wear and the snow had melted just enough to make a big messy path of mud which the owners were trying to tame with hay. The little boys were loving every inch of the mud and running and making a big jump to push all the buttons of their parents. As I walked to the top of the hill where the taller trees reside, I observed a family who had three little boys. The oldest and the Dad were on the ground spread eagle sawing the tree. The two younger boys were jumping up and down with excitement and Mom standing there grinning from ear to ear. As I passed on by, I heard this chorus of voices yell: “T-I-M-B-E-R!”.
My attention was immediately drawn over to my left where several little boys were busy making “snow angels”. Again my ears perked up when I heard a young voice yell: “….here it is….this one is perfect….” As I turned to see a girl of about 10 leaning into a tree with her arms spread wide as it to say: “….this one is ours…”
When I reached the top of the hill, the younger families gave way to older parents and children in their teens. I could hear a Mom say: “….let’s find a nice full tree….this year….” Then a voice rang out: “….here’s a really fat one, Mom!” As I walked down a row of tall trees, I passed a Dad who asked me: “…it this the perfect tree…?” I told him: “… every tree is perfect for someone! ” He smiled and nodded in agreement.
My spouse showed up with the saw and the cart to haul our tree back down the hill. He said: “…that’s a very nice tree…the ornaments will look very nice…” He laid down on the snow to begin his cut and I could not resist giving the tree a playful shake to dump some snow on top of him. He rolled out from beneath the tree and started laughing.
Every year during whatever holiday that is the most precious for you provides you with the opportunity to make a memory or to drown in the event. Children don’t care if there is “everything”, they just care that it happens. Ask each of your family members what is the one thing that they want to “experience” not what they want in the “material” sense. If they are young, explain what that means. Then give them so choices and not to many of them. Do what makes sense to your economic state and your energy. Hot chocolate and romp in the snow followed by a warm bath and a story cost literally pennies. The memory you make lasts a life time.
You may just find that it is the scene, the smells, the feelings that are the most memorable.