Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ickert Good Ole fashion Christmas Tree.

It's been a tradition since I began dating Chris. A visit to the Penland Christmas Tree farm in York SC. A place where you get to cut down your own tree and bring it home. A place where one can experience the true joy of this wonderful tradition. Each year they add a few more touches to make it truly special, especially for the kids. I love this day, and as always it came with plenty of fun and entertainment.

First things, a stop at the Snowman so we can see how big the boys have gotten. Just like last year I had to beg plead and bribe the boys to stand still and smile. Such work so early on in our visit, but I got the picture. What do you think??



For the second year in a row, my Mom and Dad came with us.

Ryan wants to show Mom the perfect tree.

Dad - "You mean we have to cut them down ourselves?"


We pay a visit to the "Gourd Head" family. Cute.... A Little creepy but still cute.

And it's not truly Christmas until Dad makes a joke about the largest tree in the world being the one he wants to cut down.

Slim pickings this year, so Dad makes Mom stand next to a "potential" while he scopes out another one a few feet away. Isn't she a good sport?

No significant meaning to this one. It is just what happens when one trips over a tree stump while still holding the camera.

I caught Ryan checking out this picture, reminding me what the season is really all about.

Finally we find the one we like and Chris begins the cut down while anxious boys look on.

Last stop, this giant mountain of mulch the owners of the farm created for the kids to play and climb on. Who knew a pile of wood chips could be so much fun. Of course that is until both boys start moaning about mulch in their shoes...and their socks...and in Ryan's case his ears (don't ask.)

Tree is loaded and in the car. Wahoo!


Finally home Chris begins the tedious task (also know as Daddy "curse fest") of stringing the lights. I stay out of the way and take more pictures, I learned from years prior never to get involved in this process. Although this year Chris is in better spirits. He purchased the new LED lights this year which will save on the power bill. I mean how happy jolly is that? Cursing was still involved, but more so at me to put the camera down. He really has come a long way... I am very proud of him.

Brief pause for popcorn break.

The boys are getting old enough to help now. The first one I let them hang are the ones they got when they were babies. Hard to beleive how big they are getting.

Bruno and Josie are totally and completely unimpressed that the tree now takes up half of thier sleeping area.

It is coming together....

The tree has been up for a week now and I have to admit (like do every year) that this one might be our best one yet. It’s not as tall we usually get (we are blessed with really high ceilings) but she is tall enough, and with our angel there on her perch looking down upon us it in my book – perfect!

The boys are finally over stage of messing with the ornaments so I no longer have to stand guard although they seem to enjoy unhooking and re hooking the ornaments sometimes putting them back on the same branch and sometimes not. Only a few have fallen off with only one shattering.   So far so good I say.

She drinks a ton of water so I have added her to my schedule along with the husband, kids and dogs to feed and water. I wasn’t really looking for another mouth to feed but in keeping with the spirit of the season, I am happy to oblige. It seems like almost every year we fall habit of forgetting to water the tree that by time Christmas rolls around no is allowed to breathe, sneeze or yawn anywhere near her for fear any air movement will reduce her to nothing but a pile of needles. So you see I am determined not to let happen this year.

I guess in sum I want to focus on how much I love the symbol of the Christmas Tree. Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved when it was time to get our family tree. It was something my Dad took charge of and he, along with my sister and I, would venture out on a Saturday afternoon to pick out a tree and bring home to decorate all day long. It one of my favorites memories growing up. My decorating style fit my personality at the time, I had neither rhyme nor reason and hung the ornaments were I felt they belonged. My twin sister, ever the logical and practical thinker had a flow chart and hanging system where none of the ornaments should be touching nor were similar colors allowed within 12 inches of each other. Sometimes this would set off a bickering feud, and sometimes we would fall down laughing as Dad looked on trying to regain order. Again it’s one of my favorite memories and I love every second of this tradition.

Now that I have my own family I am realizing that if it’s possible, I think I love it even more. I love how it looks in the corner all lit up, full, and cozy. I love how when I walk in the room I can smell the pine needles, and most of all I love how in a few weeks we will witness the magic of two little boys tearing through red and green paper with smiles on their faces as big as the tree itself. At this very moment she is keeping my company as I type this early in the morning and I know I never ever want to take her down. I refuse to think about that now. For now I am just going to soak her in and relish in everything she means to me.

I hope you all are having a wonderful and joyous holiday filled with your own memories, old and new that helps glue this magical season together.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

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