Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Tradition That Never Grows Old

It has happened every first Saturday of December for nearly five years now. 

The kids get up early, like I did on the morning when I was a kid and my parents were taking me to Disneyland for my birthday. 

When I opened my eyes in the still dark of the morning, I saw my boy's silhouette in the doorway of our bedroom. Him waiting for his Mama and Papa to open their eyes and start the day.

We rolled out of bed.

Then there were waffles and eggs followed by a mad dash to gather all those hats and jackets and mittens and boots and cups and snacks for the littlest one, all before friends were to arrive.

I brushed my teeth, threw on some deodorant, pulled my hair back.
Friends waited in the driveway. 

I grabbed the last of our big pile of stuff and we were off... on our way up the mountain in search for the perfect Christmas tree. 

The moments I loved...

__We weren't to far down our old country road when the Charmer sat up tall in his carseat and bellowed it out to the whole car, "Merry Christmas everybody!"

__The same treasure is smiling from ear to ear and listening to Duck Dynasty's Redneck Christmas. Phil's singing about Ms. Kay's Christmas cookies. I turn around and see him licking his lips and talking to himself... "Mmmmmm, I LOVE Christmas cookies!"

__I can see my Dad in the third row of our van from the rearview mirror. His smile is saying everything that his silence is not. He's not a man of many words. But anyone can see in that rearview mirror how much he soaks up these adventures with his kids and grandkids. 

__The older kids all singing together Panatonix's Angels We have Heard On High, at the top of their lungs.

__No trails. Just miles of woods and fallen trees and a bunch of kids expectant and searching.

__Me, half way up a mountain, carrying the littlest one, when I look down at his feet and realize that he's missing a boot. The Charmer finding it in the vast woods and running up to me in pride with the boot in his hand.

__Papa and the four oldest venturing out and finding the perfect Clark Family Tree for 2014.

__BBQ for lunch.

__Good conversation with good friends.

__The smell of corn chowder in the crock pot when we walked into the farmhouse after the day's adventure.

__A warm fire.

__The Cowboy hugging me long in the living room, us watching the five put ornaments on the tree.

{We put the Charmer in his chair with a blueberry muffin so that he would stop trying to eat  the ornaments while the rest of us tried to put them on the tree.}

{A picture of the kids when we first started this tradition}

__An annual picture in front of a perfectly decorated tree.

__The privilege of watching these treasures grow up... It's stunning how much they've changed in a few short years.

A day in the woods. A search for a tree. A tradition that never gets old.
Another glorious day with the ones that I love most.