Getting the Christmas tree was always one of my favourite family traditions growing up, and always a rather comical family day out. Of course our real reason for going as a family was less about tradition and more about overseeing my Dad’s rather amusing choice in Christmas trees – the few times we did leave him unsupervised to choose one, we ended up with extremely sad looking lopsided trees with no more than three branches, and he could never seem to understand why we found it so funny!
All the same, it was a tradition I was really looking forward to continuing now that I’ve got a family of my own and I couldn’t wait to introduce Evie to the excitement of ‘tree day’ even if this year she slept the whole car journey and missed out on my rendition of ‘Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree’ and then wasn’t entirely sure why we awoke her from her slumber to take her into a muddy field and look at strange green plants. 😉 I’m sure as the years go on, she’ll enjoy it more and more though, and it feels good to be starting small traditions that I know will shape her childhood and she’ll remember even when she’s all grown up with a family of her own (jeez that doesn’t even bear thinking about does it?).
Waterproof jacket and backpack – The North Face c/o Millets
Christmas jumper – F&F at Tesco (last season) | Jeans – Topshop
Bobble hat – Primark | Sunglasses – Rayban
In Scotland of course, we are legally allowed to chop our own spruce from public forests, so our family tree day growing up involved us all bundling up in warm layers, setting off in the car to our nearest woodland patch and embarking on a muddy hike with a chainsaw in hand (we only ever took the top off a well formed tree, which allows it to grow even taller and actually helps the trees). Living down south these days however, we had to improvise slightly to get that authentic – tree adventure – feeling for our outing, and so instead of hitting up the outdoor section of Homebase like we did last year, we decided to visit a tree farm this year. Thanks to every weekend since the end of November being busy with weddings, getaways and friends visiting, it took us until this week to make it there. In the end we had to visit on a Wednesday which meant Santa’s Grotto wasn’t open, but also meant that we pretty much had the place to ourselves when it came to taking photos, so swings and roundabouts. I think the staff thought we were just extremely slow at choosing a tree as we were wandering amongst the rows of ferns for so long!
I was hoping the snow would stick around in time for our visit but instead it just rained non stop all day – typical British winter right? The temperatures are still pretty icy around these parts though so we wrapped up warm for the occasion and (another little tradition in the making) all wore our Christmas jumpers for the first time. With two weeks until Christmas still, it was perhaps a little early but it definitely added to the festive-ness of the day and I’ll admit I didn’t take mine off all afternoon – so content to be cosied up on the sofa with a cuppa and a mince pie in my snugly number.
While Evie layered up in a pink fluffy snowsuit (oh how I’d love an adult sized version of that!), I stayed warm and dry against the elements in my The North Face Evolve Triclimate 3 in 1 jacket, which has been a welcome addition to my coat collection during this cold snap. As well as having a waterproof outer layer, it’s lined with a cosy removable fleece too to keep me snug. I packed a thermos flask full of hot chocolate into my new (very functional) backpack (which is made with outdoor days in mind – so many compartments, so sturdy, waterproof) along with plenty of snacks for E (our usual outdoor backpack essentials have now doubled to include everything that would normally fit in a changing bag), pulled on a pair of wellies and a cosy bobble hat and felt ready for our wet and windy day out.
I’m not sure if it was just because it was a Wednesday and Santa had a day off/ the tea room wasn’t open, but the farm could have definitely done with an injection of festive cheer, so I’m pretty glad we brought plenty with us! After a lot of deliberation and ‘is it too big?’, ‘are those the ones that drop needles?’, ‘will that be too wide to get in the car?’, we decided on a tall, full Nordman Fir, had it netted up and bundled it into the car.
We didn’t manage to get it decorated by the time we got home (parenting problems – every task is so much more difficult when one of you has to constantly hold a baby) but I was secretely quite glad as it meant that the following day was a – stay indoors with Christmas movies and hot drinks – kind of day while we added our ‘Evie’ bauble to the tree for the first time.
Now we just need to work out how to fit the abundance of presents that family and friends have already given us for E under the tree, while still giving her enough space to actually play with them come the day! Christmas really is a little more magical with kids around though isn’t it? And despite Evie being too young to really understand this year, I think we’re all pretty excited on her behalf and I just can’t wait to down tools, hibernate and enjoy all the festivities with my little family this year!
So here’s to making new traditions, carrying on old ones and enjoying this special time with the people you love. I hope you’re all getting in the Christmas spirit – only 8 days to go!