In our family we have quite a few traditions that we do during the month of December.
This year we kicked off those traditions by putting up our small, fake, Christmas tree the week following Thanksgiving.
While Daniel and Jack worked on setting up the tree, I made my decadent hot chocolate (link to recipe here).
Daniel asked why we still had this little tree after all of these years (it was purchased from Big Lots for $10 for our first Christmas as a married couple). He wanted to know if we had it for sentimental reasons.
At this point there is definitely something sentimental about that little tree, but if truth be told, we still have it because we are frugal and don't like to replace things that still serve a purpose.
This little tree holds all of the ornaments we were given as wedding presents (note to engaged couples: if you get married in December, you will receive a TON of Christmas ornaments).
There is also a collection of ornaments from all of the places we have visited over the last 13 years. So every December we have a walk down memory lane... remember that trip to Oregon with a stop at Crater Lake? Oh, and Hawaii! And that bike ride up (and down) the Virginia Creeper Trail?
That first trip to the beach... there are quite a few Hilton Head ornaments and now we have new beach ornaments from the Gulf of Mexico. This year we added an alligator ornament from Wakulla Springs, Florida. I hope our boys love to look at this ornaments and reminisce with us in the years to come.
And now that we have sweet kiddos, the tree holds ornaments for them – those that celebrate their first Christmas' and homemade ornaments Jack has brought home from church and preschool.
One day we may need a bigger tree, or maybe a kid tree as well as a memory tree. For now, we treasure these memories and moments with our little family.
And to keep it real, with Isaac being just 7 months old there was a moment we had to pause and put the littlest guy to bed because he was exhausted.
Jack stayed up and to help us finish decorating. I'm sure bed time was harder than usual because of the sugar-ed up hot chocolate and the delayed bedtime, but sometimes that is the price to pay for these moments!