This Christmas we decided to create a new family tradition by visiting the Albany Xmas Pines Farm to choose our Christmas Pine Tree.
Those in the know (clearly not us novices) had been out to the farm in September and had selected and tagged their trees already. They arrived with trailers and saws and trekked out to fell their trees – kids in tow, clearly seasoned tree fellers.
We arrived unsure but were quickly ushered into a large garage with all manner of trees. This was of course where we ended up buying the tree but the whole fun of visiting a Christmas Tree Farm is in being able to explore and adventure so the very kind lady there let us do just that and in minutes the girls were darting between the fledgling pines playing a mash up game of tag/hide and seek.
The smell is intoxicating – it just smells like Christmas. There was a fine mist in the air, gently blanketing the Albany hills around us and making us feel like we were a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For any family creating traditions is important, and none more so than when you are blending your families together and you feel the pressure of the “but we used to do it that way” as they stare scathingly at the “intruding” family members for changing the way that in their limited memories things have always been done. So this year we decided to get our first real Christmas tree to celebrate our first Christmas together as a patchwork family.
Real Christmas trees are something that have eluded me and my two girls as my ex-husband got hay fever from them so we couldn’t have them in the house. It was something that I always scoffed at so you can imagine my horror when I brushed against one of the Christmas trees at the Christmas Tree Farm today and within 10 minutes had come up in hives!! Yikes!! Unperturbed however (what’s a little hives when you are building family traditions I say) we continued on in our quest for the perfect Christmas Tree.
We found the tree – a lovely tall, lush specimen for the bargain price of $40.
While attempting to pay our three girls (who are 7, 8 and 9) managed to knock over a tree and commenced fighting. Normal service has resumed I thought.
“They’ll be doing that every year you come” a man next to me observed, “Mine have been”. And I looked next to him and saw his grown children standing next to him and I smiled – it’s not a bad thought that in 10 years time the 5 of us will be standing there – the girls 17, 18 and 19 and James and I much older and hopefully wiser. I’m hopeful that by then we will have been organised enough to have picked out our tree in September but then again, organisation never was my strong point so perhaps we will be content to pick from the garage and just run through the trees.
Back home we dressed the tree for the first time as a family of five.
For once I stood back and just let the tree be the tree and let the little experts decorate – decorations everywhere – the broken, the homemade, even that pink poodle that just clashes with everything. It looked better than ever before – even if I am allergic to it!