On Christmas Trees and Traditions

I love Christmas trees and traditions at Christmas time. I’m all for creating new family traditions, doing them year after year, and I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving every November. On Black Friday we opted outside (like an REI ad!) and went to Four Winds Christmas Tree Farm in Los Gatos to get our Christmas tree for this year. It was a super fun experience, made better by the fact that we got to spend it with our good friends Katie and Peter and their tiny human Mason! We’ve never cut down our own tree before, and this is only the second year that we’ve gotten a real one. We were too worried about Rue eating the tree the first year we lived in our house…

Christmas 2019

Back to this year…Alex wanted to get our tree the day after Thanksgiving for some reason, and I was not opposed. New family tradition?! Katie happened to be headed down to Santa Cruz for the morning, so I suggested a meet-up in Los Gatos. We had NO idea what to expect, and I have to say that I recommend not going the day after Thanksgiving…we’ll probably wait a week or so next time. It was really traffic-y and the roads leading up to the tree farms are one-lane winding terrors. Top that off with the fact that it had been raining all week, and it was not a fun experience getting up there.

BUT it was well worth the time it took to get there. We found a parking spot, got some complimentary hot chocolate, and went into the “woods”! While our main motivation was finding the perfect tree, part of the reason for going there was to get some fun photos with our friends. We loved walking around the property and taking some informal photos while we smelled the pine and kept an eye out for those elusive Noble Firs (arguably the BEST kind of Christmas tree).

We ended up with this beauty that is one-sided and perfect for our limited walkway space – it sits right up against the wall! And Rue loves it.

Aside from this potential new tradition of cutting down our own tree, we have a few things in the Rivas household that have carried over from our childhoods.

I grew up looking at Christmas lights…long drives around the surrounding neighborhoods with Christmas music and blankets. We’ve discovered in the past few years that Livermore is the best at decorating. 4th of July, Halloween, and especially Christmas. There aren’t many streets that don’t have at least one house with lights on it, and most streets have quite a few.

Alex and his family always decorated sugar cookies for Christmas. Ever since he shared this tradition with me, we’ve done it with friends and family at our own house. Alex thinks my family takes decorating too seriously – we’re talking picking out individual sprinkles solely to get the right color – but I say it’s all about the creativity!

And of course we always go to the Christmas Eve service at church, either on the 24th or a day before depending on work schedules. My favorite part is singing Silent Night with all of the candles lit up, and looking around the room to see everyone who came to be reminded of the Savior’s birth and celebrate together.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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