01 December 2010

Advent Calendar: Christmas Tree Trimming

Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

Christmas 1991
Travis Puts the Angel on the Tree with help from Dad

For this first day of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories I tapped my children and asked them to guest blog on their memory of our tree trimming activities.  Here are each of their memories:

Kirsten remembers:
The tree trimming party was arguably our biggest small event.  While every extended family get together involved massive amounts of food, the tree trimming was just for us, and still had lots of food.  Mom would make anything we wanted, from the culinary exquisite to the lowly and delicious...mozzarella sticks.  As I've grown up, I've always remembered our tree trimming parties fondly.  Although some of my favorite memories are the ones that weren't so funny at the time, the year Travis knocked over the lamp and broke it, or how we would fight over who got to put the angel on the top of the tree (you'll note that the photo for the story is of Travis putting the angel up).  Christmas at home will always have a place in my heart.  If I ever have a family someday, the tree trimming tradition is one I will definitely keep in the family.

Travis remembers:
A great memory of the holidays was our tree trimming party. Well, it was filled with a big helping of mom's type A personality from time to time.   Even with her having the Christmas tree lights evenly spaced out it was always a fun evening. Putting on Christmas music and having a large spread of appetizer snacks and decorating the tree is something I will always remember. The biggest part of the evening happened at the end when it came time to put the angel on top of the tree. Every year my sister and I wanted to do it and would lie about who did it the year before (I still think she got to do it more times than I did). It got to the point that we had to write down each year on the box who put it up so we wouldn't have to go through the same process every year.  Christmas is always a special time of year and I absolutely love all the traditions my family has.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it home last year but cannot wait to make it back this year and be apart of the family traditions again.

I loved reading my children's recollections of our tree trimming party.  They're pretty accurate and my type A personality would surface from time to time!  But, I have proof we shared the angel topping.  I guess it was for sentimental reasons that I kept this.  I use to write it on the box top of the angel box.  When I got rid of the box I tore this off and stored it with other Christmas decorations.  As you can see, they got equal time!  2001 was the last Christmas before Kirsten left for college.  Once they got into high school they weren't as enthused about it!  Recently, I have been putting the tree up myself.  It isn't the same, but the memories we made come back the minute I begin decorating.  I look forward to making new memories as I welcome new family members into our family.

(Just for the record, I do have pictures of Kirsten topping the tree, but I am in the middle of redoing all of the kids photo albums and couldn't put my hands on it in time for this post!)


  1. How great that your kids were guest bloggers!! This really brought back memories of the things my sister and I used to argue about – like favorite ornaments that we would RUSH to the box to get first!

  2. Yes, it brought back great memories for me too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. This was so sweet to read from each person's perspective! I have to admit, little Travis is quite a cute kid (Kirsten, I'm sure you were equally adorable!). I'm very much looking forward to seeing and sharing in the Leyndyke family traditions!

  4. I was equally as cute as Travis, thank you! Now where is Dad's perspective?

  5. Alayna, we are looking forward to sharing our traditions with you.

    Kirsten, that's a great idea, I should have included his.