Sunday, December 7, 2008

December fun and so much more!

Last Saturday we joined our kids on their annual trip to the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree. We used to always get Colorado trees.... so fresh that some even started to bud out in our house. But over the years of having to wire them up, drill in extra branches and trim them to fit inside, we have tended to go to Home Depot for the perfect Noble fir trees.

This year the kids said: "Come on, Dad! It'll be fun. We'll get the passes and we will drink hot chocolate and have an adventure!" Knowing that part of my mission statement as a father is: " To create family memories," they knew they had me.

So last Saturday we joined the caravan of Wes and Cara, Mark and Abby, and Gwen and Tim and all of the grandkids and adopted grandkids up the mountain to the Pike National Forest. Three Hondas Pilots and the old Explorer four-wheeled up the mountain!

So after an hour or so of trekking all over the mountain we all found trees, cut them down and loaded them on our cars. Barb and I somehow managed to agree on a tree... she accused me of perfectionism... can't undertand what she meant! All of the kids were having side bets that Dad would use his tree for trimming and still go to Home Depot for his "perfect" Christmas tree. That just sealed the deal. We were putting this tree up!

But back to the mountains. As I said, all of us found trees... and all of us managed to find our ways back to the cars. Barb and I were the last ones back... she said something else about perfectionism... and then we joined the kids for some well earned hot chocolate.

By then I was getting into the spirit. We enjoyed the incredible day in the mountains and the the time with family and we all made it back home safely. Check out each of our kids blogs to see their trees: ( theirs are all better than ours!) But just to prove the point, we put ours up this week despite the harrassment from my Chicago friend, Jim, who kept calling us to say something about Charlie Brown and how it only took him 30 minutes to put up his perfect artifical tree.

So after drilling and whittling four braches in to fill in the holes and wiring up the branches, it was up and looking pretty good. And with a cup of nog in hand I began to reflect on the significance of the whole experience. No, it is not a perfect tree. But the fact that our kids wanted us to join them for the experience is perfect. And in many ways this tree is a daily reminder to me about what is really important. Like so many of us, I can get caught up in the Crate and Barrel glitter of Christmas. What is on the outside is so enticing. But this tree, like our humble Savior, who came to earth in a simple manger is a wonderful reminder of what is important. We are so blessed... with amazing children and grandchildren and friends. So may this post be a reminder to you as it was to me, that Emmanuel is with us at this Christmas time...not in the glamor, but in the form of a child.

And so with the spirit intact, we put up our lights outside.... just couldn't resist!

Merry Christmas to all from Barb and Bruce!