The tradition of the Christmas tree has spiraled down to us from so many cultures and so many different celebrations. The idea of decorating the home with greens and trees can be traced across human existence, across countries and borders, and over centuries.
As we headed out to the farm to cut our tree this weekend, I was filled with thoughts of this tradition, both throughout history as well as the memories of my own families traditions. I remember arguing with my brother every year over the perfect tree, and cutting our tree from the woods when we lived in Colorado, and sitting around so many trees at the homes of friends and family.
There are so many different ways that we include the tree in our celebration: some people put it up the day after thanksgiving and some people put it up the night before Christmas, some people decorate with gold, and some stick to strung popcorn, some squeeze in the biggest tree they can and others put a small tree on the counter and still others use the same store artificial tree year after year.
For all of us who celebrate the holidays with a tree, we welcome a symbol of life into our homes in the middle of the long cold months of the winter, a perfect reminder of the promise of the coming year.
This was the first tree the twins picked out - hmmm.
We talked them down a few sizes.
There is something completely transforming about bringing in a live tree and decking it with lights and ornaments. Each year in our home, there are new traditions, and a renewed sense of wonder in the simple magic of the holidays.
May the symbols of your season be full of magic as well.