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December 9th 2010

Making Meaning

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We live down the road from the sweetest small town Christmas tree farm imaginable. Cutting our tree there has become a tradition that we all adore. Loaded with a menagerie of animals that are scattered throughout the farms five acres, it’s easy to get lost in the magical holiday world.


As Chris and Jasper worked on sawing down the tree Elora wandered off to explore. To her delight she found the Peacock pen littered with glimmering feathers. A dozen of which have been washed, dried and a readied for holiday ornaments.


Although it feels strange to actually cut down a tree, I try and remind myself that they were grown solely for this purpose. Much like the flowers on our farm, these trees are a crop that’s meant to be harvested. They wouldn’t exist otherwise.


I always forget how quickly a tree transforms our home into a cozy, festive space.


While the kids busy themselves with unwrapping and examining all of the ornaments, I string the lights. It’s a blast to ease drop on their conversations, hearing the tale of each ornament and its history. Of all the decorations, my favorite are the hand made gems. Ranging from a paper plate dove Jasper made at the library when he was 4 to the hilarious series of angles Elora has created over the years, these works of art will be treasured for a lifetime.


This year we have decided to focus on meaning rather than consuming. Watching the parking lots at our local Walmart and Costco buzz with anxious, stressed shoppers quickly sours any holiday cheer. The radio stations started blaring Christmas advertisements days before Thanksgiving had even begun. Yuck!!! When did it all become about stuff?


It seems that nowadays Christmas = landfill.


Well, I want out of the madness! So as a family we have decided to create our entire holiday experience from $100 cash, including the tree.


With $65 remaining we’re thoughtfully proceeding. So far, it has definitely been a meaningful experience!


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