Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Traditional Christmas Tree

Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Xavi looking for trees in the wagon
I am the eldest of four.  As my mom says, "it goes girl, boy, boy, girl."  We are each three years apart and have recently begun to actually enjoy each other's presence.  Year after year for Christmas, we have typically gone to a Christmas tree farm to get the bit of outside to bring the outdoors in.  Weird, I know.  We drive past all the fancy Charlie Brown-style lots to pay more and chop a tree down ourselves.

Bella found her perfect baby tree!
But traditions are more about why than about what.  I think there is some visceral connection to the earth that we remind ourselves of when we chop down this ceremonial tree.  The fresh air, the great scenery (our tree farm is on the side of a beautiful mountain), the pictures, the stories (remember the time Nathan forgot his jacket-- and his shoes!  He had to be carried from tree to tree until we picked out the perfect one).  These are the things we bring back other than our tree.  There is something also to be said for taking the responsibility for the energy required to bring our tree home.  There are no transportational middlemen here.

We leave things too.  The money we spend goes to the farmer and the farmer's children.  This is obvious since we see both of them working with us.  Some of the children sell snacks as a personal business.  Their house is slightly farther up the mountain than the barn and trees for Christmasing.  By patronizing their farm over a cheaper tree, we allow them to thrive and flourish as people.  They are nice, too.  They always help us hoist the tree up to the roof of the car (can't help us tie it due to insurance regulations) and wave goodbye as we drive away.  For the purchase of something so ornamental, there is a real connected feeling about the whole experience.  Of goodness, of love, and of kindess.  Of Christmas.
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon December 11 with all the carnival links.)
  • Childhood Memories of Peace, Support, Joy, and Love — Amber at Heart Wanderings wants to make sure the majority of the memories that her children have as a part of their family are ones that are positive and help support the amazing people that they are now and will become as adults.
  • Hand Made Baby Books — Destany at They Are All of Me talks about why baby books are important to her for preserving memories of her childrens first years, and shows how she made one by hand for each child.
  • Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?Here's To A Boring Year uses memories of being a child to keep her on the path to peaceful parenting.
  • Inter-Generational Memories {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about her own childhood memories, and what she hopes her daughter will remember in the future.
  • Snapshots — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings reflects on the ways our childhood memories appear to us, and hopes her own daughter's childhood will be one she remembers as being happy and fulfilled.
  • What makes the perfect parent? — In a guest post on Natural Parents Network, Mrs Green from Little Green Blog reflects on camp follow and camp no-follow...
  • In My Own Handwriting — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about her journals and the hope that they will be able to keep her stories alive even if she isn't able to.
  • Candlelight, fairylight, firelight — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud re-discovers the ingredients for bringing magic to life, especially at Christmas.
  • Making Memories (or) How We Celebrate Christmas — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about creating new memories at Christmas, and the joy their adventures bring to her whole family.
  • The Importance of Recording Feelings and Emotions and Not Just the Experience — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares why she puts pen to paper every day to record more than just her experiences as a mother and her daughter's experiences as a child. Jennifer looks at the importance of capturing feelings and emotions that accompany the experience.
  • Dredged up — Kenna at Million Tiny Things has been forced to recount childhood memories at bedtime, due to the failure of her middle-aged imagination. She resists, of course.
  • Crafting Memories — Handmade is what makes the holidays special for Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs, and she wants to create the same connection with her daughters that she remembers with mother and grandmother.
  • My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness Stone Age Parent shares the impact of her childhood memories on her life as a parent today, listing some of her many rich childhood memories and how they now act as beacons of light helping her in the complex, often confusing world of child-rearing.
  • 10 Ways I Preserve Memories for My Children — From video interviews to time capsules, Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to make sure her children have many different ways to cherish their childhood memories. Dionna's carnival post features ten of the ways she preserves memories; check out her Pinterest board for more ideas.
  • Memories of my mother — Luschka at Diary of a First Child remembers her mother and the fondest moments of her childhood, especially poignant as she sits by her mother's sickbed writing.
  • Creating Happy Childhood Memories through Family Traditions — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why family traditions are so important to her and her family and shares how she’s worked to create traditions for her children.
  • Traditional Christmas Tree — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep remembers the great times spent with her family driving for the Christmas Tree and the lessons learned.
  • Wet Socks and Presents — Kat at MomeeeZen writes about her favorite Christmas childhood memory and why it's so special. And she hopes one day her kids will also have a feel-good memory of their own to look back on.
  • Stuff does not equal memories — Lauren at Hobo Mama learns that letting go does not mean failing to remember.
  • A Child's Loss- Will They Remember Dad? — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about their family's loss of their husband and father. She trys to find answers to the question: Will they remember their Dad?
  • Childhood Memories - Hers and Mine — Jorje of Momma Jorje wished for her daughter the same passions and experiences she loved as a child, but learns the hard way to accept whatever passions strike in her child.
  • Holiday Non-TraditionsErika Gebhardt enjoys her family's tradition of not having traditions for the holidays.


  1. I'm chuckling at the idea of forgetting even shoes when leaving. I like your reasons for choosing chopping your own tree. We might have to try that sometime!

  2. Love this! We did not have a real tree growing up, and I've only had one a handful of times since being on my own, but you make me want to incorporate it as part of our holiday traditions!

  3. We chopped our own tree from a tree farm two years ago and I loved the whole experience! Erika@ erikagebhardt.com

  4. YOur post makes me want to get out in the forest and smell some evergreen scented air!! ahh...Thanks for your post!

  5. I do not recall having a live tree as a kid, though I remember our fake tree going into a base made for one. How awesome to have kept such a tradition alive year after year, though! It seems most of our family traditions have faded away.