O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,

On Saturday afternoon, once all the guests had headed home from Lucy’s party, the place was cleaned up and children fed, we headed to the Santa Cruz mountains to choose and cut our Christmas tree. This was our fist experience of chopping down our own tree and whilst I was the driving force behind this little adventure, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to pan out. Dave and I aren’t exactly handy with tools, you see! Of course Dave scoffed at my lack of confidence, in his ability to cut down a tree and was up for the challenge.

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We headed out on a bit of a whim (mine) and worried about the time (me), so scuttled out of the door without paying due attention to our attire. I mean, this was the worst weather we’d had yet – but still, it’s California right? How cold is it going to be? Turns out, pretty cold. Especially in the mountains. And wet. Very wet.

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Here is Lucy sporting her fancy party dress, trainers, hoodie and no coat. Complete with party rings and candy!

The drive up the mountains was gorgeous. We passed many lovely looking Christmas tree farms, yet i insisted on driving further and further up those treacherous roads, to get to the place where I knew FOR CERTAIN had a saw we could use – and the obligatory free hot chocolate. Still, the further we went, the more thrilling it was and more spectacular the views.

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After scoping out the best contenders we settled for the first tree Eve had spotted when she got out of the car. She is very pleased with that little fact.

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Our Christmas tree in all its natural splendour.

And she was right, it was a beauty.

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Then the work began, we all took turns cutting down the tree. It felt a little bit sad to me but I was reassured by the knowledge that if we cut it in the right place, another tree would grown in its place. How about that?

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The just like that, the job was done…TIMBER!

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Perhaps Dave could make a lumberjack after all!

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We warmed up by the fire while collecting our hot chocolate.

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While we sipped on our warm drinks, Dave secured the tree to our car.

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We stopped on the way home to buy some new lights and a stand at home depot. They were also giving out free hot chocolate to customers so the kids got their second cup of the day.

Miraculously we made it home with our Christmas tree in one piece and found the right spot for it. It was the perfect height.

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Then the decorating began in earnest with the comforting, familiar sounds of Christmas carols playing in the background.

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It was wonderful to unpack our very special Christmas ornaments, which had made it over the ocean with us. The last time we decorated our tree was in Durham, England. Our ornaments aren’t fancy but they are beautiful. Many are handmade by the children, well used and well loved. Some are from special places and others hold special memories. Below, Olive finds an ornament which holds at it’s heart the gifts each member of our family committed to give to our Saviour, last Christmas. It was fun to read them and reflect on that time and how we did with our little goals. We do this every year and have all done pretty well at keeping our commitments.

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After all the work was done, it was time for left over birthday cake, (pumpkin pie for Josh!) ice cream, and lots of Christmas stories before being tucked up in bed. I’m pretty sure after all that sugar, the children really will have had sugar plums dancing in their heads!

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What a great, wonderful and happy day it was. I think this will become a new tradition for our family and a perfect way to usher in the Christmas season. I hope that through all the magic, excitement and wonder of Christmas; and amongst all the fun traditions, parties and food, we can maintain a steady and simple focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Please enjoy this short video: He is the Gift.

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O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How are thy leaves so verdant!
Not only in the summertime,
But even in winter is thy prime.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure dost thou bring me!
For ev’ry year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure dost thou bring me!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are thy branches!
Not only green when summer’s here
But in the coldest time of year.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are thy branches!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How sturdy God hath made thee!
Thou bidds’t us all place faithfully
Our trust in God, unchangingly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How sturdy God hath made thee!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

6 Comments on “O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,

  1. What a wonderful account of a truly memorable experience for all of you – another exciting” first” in your new life in California. Thank you so much for sharing it all with us. We love it. Poppy and Grandma xxxx

  2. Loved hearing about your adventure. What a lovely family day. Photos and words went together beautifully. Love you guys. X

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