Big Bert, Bertha, Betty, Bubba, and now Bernice.
Each year, right after Thanksgiving, we bundle up, sing Christmas carols in the car, banter back and forth about a name, and trek out into the middle of a tree farm looking for just the right ONE.
What once started as a simple afternoon out, has turned into a full blown tradition in our household.
As newlyweds cutting down our first tree, to having to wear Eric's coat because I was almost 40 weeks pregnant, to baby wearing Oliver, to finally holding his hand as he runs through the field, I can distinctly remember each year fresh in my mind.
The excitement is incredible searching for the widest, roundest, largest tree we can find that will --somewhat-- fit in our living room.
Have me calculate drip rates for IV medications, develop fitness routines when you are short on time, and kiss boo boo's until the cows come home, I will succeed every time, but geometry and spatial awareness was never my thing.
That first year, I found Big Bert, even though he didn't seem big to me.
I knew it was the ONE, and I'm sure as newlyweds Eric would have done anything to make me happy.
We cut her down and brought her home despite Eric knowing it wouldn't fit.
I've never laughed so hard in my life when we cut off the string, opened it up, and realized that we had to completely take out living room furniture to make it work.
We never held each other so tight and laughed so hard knowing that a tradition was born.
Eric and I both grew up with fake trees at Christmas time.
Fake trees were simply easier, but we wanted a tradition to call our own.
A tradition that never would have happened, if we didn't decide to make a leap of faith, and stray from what we have always known.
A tradition that would have never happened if we listened to what our parents said,
"It could burn down your house. I heard a woman who had a spider infestation in her house from the tree. The sap could ruin your furniture and floors. Who wants to be cleaning up pine needles every day?"
6 years strong and the house is still standing, no spiders or any creatures got warm inside our trees, the furniture had to be moved anyway, and I will take the smell of evergreen over having to clean up a few needles any day.
"But you have to water it everyday."
Yes, a real tree is work. Cutting it down is work. Carrying it back to the car is work. Slugging it on the roof is work. Waddling out to the fields pregnant is work. Chasing a toddler in the fields is work.
What in life that's really, truly worth it, isn't work?
When did we ever get afraid of good old fashioned hard work?
That is one tradition that our parents taught us, that we won't forget.
Stray from the norm. Laugh. Do what you want to do, and be the kind of parent, spouse, and friend that you want to be.
Eric loves our trees so much that he suggested we keep it up all year around.
Who knows? Maybe I will give in just like he did for me that first year.
Valentines Tree, St. Patrick's Day Tree, Easter Tree, 4th of July/Canada Day Tree.. hmmmmmmm.....