Last weekend we rounded up the kids to head to our favorite Christmas Tree Farm where there’s a big barrel fire, complimentary train ride around the grounds, barn full of flocked trees to oogle at, a forrest for all the u-cutters, and a lot full of trendy Spruces and Firs to choose from. We had done the u-cut thing in the past, but I always seemed to be happier with the ones we picked out from the lot. With that in mind, we dressed accordingly and I resisted the urge to tell the kids to wear boots. Well, as we approached the farm, we noticed an empty parking lot and shortly after, a closed gate to the entrance. After the initial disappointment, we continued down the road to another tree farm we had driven past several times and were always curious about. As we loaded out of the car at our new destination, the kids and I immediately noticed a woman dressed in a sweatsuit and sneakers, covered almost head to toe, in a blanket of mud. She had obviously fallen while collecting her tree and was not happy about it. I immediately regretted not insisting the kids wear boots, and the kids echoed my sentiment verbally as they turned to me and said, “MOM! You didn’t tell us to wear boots!?” Resisting the urge to defend myself, I replied, “We’ll be quick! Just walk carefully.”
As we continued our journey out into the field of trees, the mud became unavoidable. Griff lost a shoe in one of the mud pits we crossed, and everyones shoes and pant legs (except poppy who managed to find willing arms and backs to carry her) were fully immersed and speckled in mud. The kids were not happy and they did not hold back on sharing their criticism: This is the worst tree farm we have ever ben to! I hate getting our tree this year! This is the worst Christmas! My feet are frozen! Why would anyone come here!? My shoes are ruined! Etc.
The kids continued as Johan replied with one of the best movie quotes ever, “That’s all part of the experience honey!” (so pleased with himself) and I tried to encourage them with, “It might not be your favorite now but it will definitely be the most memorable!” When what I really wanted to say was, “Here are the keys, go sit in the car while the rest of us put on our big kid undies and make the best of it!” In other words, have fun or get lost kids. But I resisted, knowing that it would have turned the moment of tension into a 5 alarm meltdown.
So thankful that Johan and I did our best to keep things light, because by the time we made it to our tree, everyone was laughing and having fun. By some small miracle we all agreed on the same tree and managed to make it back to the parking lot without falling. While Johan strapped the tree to the top of the car, the kids warmed up with a free hot cocoa and I thanked Jesus for the teachable moment and reminder that we always have the choice to make the best with what we have or waste our time and energy complaining and overreacting.
By the time we loaded back into the car, the kids were already laughing about the ridiculous experience. I hate to say it children, but we told ya so… and we have the pictures (way too many of them) to prove it!
The first tree they jokingly said they wanted to cut down and bring home.
The second tree they jokingly wanted to cut down and bring home.
The third tree was the winner!
How are your Christmas and Holiday traditions going!?