Christmas traditions are important, and making lasting happy memories with your family, that you hope will continue to be shared throughout many generations of your family, fills one with happiness.
One of our traditions has been to go to the same tree farm, and cut down our own Christmas tree. Our youngest child has always been the one to do the deed. We will trudge around most of the field of trees to find just the right one. Afterward, the tradition has been to get the free hot cocoa, or apple cider, and stand around a warm fire. We got the drink, but did not go near the fire, due to another family being near the fire with no masks on. A little blip in tradition, but we made the best of it.
This year, even with COVID, we continued the tradition at the tree farm. Here are a few pictures.
We decided not to get a very tall tree this year, as we put it in a different place in the living room, that is on the low side of the ceiling. Still plenty big enough. The one with the hat and red beard is the youngest son, who has by our tradition been the one to cut it down. We brought our own saw this year, brand new. It is the first time we have done that. What a difference it made, so easy to cut down. This will start a new part of the tradition I think, of bringing our own saw.
Here we are afterward with the hot drink. Me, our daughter, our son, our daughter-in-law, and our granddaughter. My husband is taking the picture.
This year was slightly different, because of the pandemic. One of the farm workers pumped the hot water for everyone. We enjoyed the Christmas music, even though it sounds as if from a can; part of the tradition.
This year, our daughter-in-law shared her many ornaments on the tree. She had lots of memories of the special ornaments that she shared with us.
HOME CHRISTMAS DECORATING
We hadn’t been keeping up through the years on decorating the house with lights. This year we wanted to improve on that. We got out the lights we had from years past, and bought some new ones as well. Also, my husband bought an inflatable snow man to decorate the yard.
One unfortunate incident occurred when I was helping to decorate an outdoor tree. The ladder behind us in this picture is at our Japanese Snowbell tree. We bought this tree at a discount from the nursery, many years ago, because it had been drought stressed, and part of it had died. This tree that we had saved, and given a better life, had ungratefully poked me in the eye as I put some lights on it. I ended up going to the ER, because the walk in clinics near us were closed, and they diagnosed me with a scratched cornea. Very painful. Lesson learned, but thankfully eyes heal quickly. From now on I will wear safety glasses when putting the lights on the outdoor trees.
My husband had bought a sourdough starter some weeks ago which had been fermenting. The instructions said if it had “hootch” on top, that meant it was active, and was ready to use. I let it set with added flour and water on the counter overnight, as directed, but it still didn’t really look active with bubbles. We added more flour and water, and let it set for more time, it still didn’t look that active, so we decided to do an experiment. We would make two loaves of bread, one we would add yeast to, and the other we would just see if the starter worked.
Here is a picture of the result. The added yeast bread rose well, and then some, while the one with just starter didn’t rise, and became a brick.
We decided that even though we put a filter on our tap, it still must have had enough chlorine in the water to kill the sourdough starter, as we have city water. I will try again sometime, and use only distilled water.
One of the fun things I did with my granddaughter this year, when we raked the leaves, was to make a big pile of them, and jump in the pile of leaves. We had a lot of fun doing that, then she and I raked the leaves into the flower bed where we grow flowers for the bees, butterflies, and humming birds. This will make a nice mulch to smother any weeds, and add some important organic matter. We also have some grape vines on either side of an arbor that I put cardboard down for a mulch to smother weeds, then I put leaves on top of that for more mulch, and to add organic matter.
Here is a picture of us jumping into the piled up leaves.
That’s all for now!
I would like to hear what others have for their Christmas traditions. Please leave a message in the reply below.
Many happy holiday blessings!