The Christmas Chair, and other stories…

I don’t remember ever having a “real” Christmas tree growing up – like an actual TREE. I was always perfectly happy with our artificial tree, and considered putting it together every year to be one of my significant holiday traditions. Apparently my parents enjoyed it a good deal less, because my junior year in high school they decided not to put it up…at all! They were giving me tires for my car for Christmas, and my brother had moved out…why bother with a tree? 

 

I worked through this, or so I thought, and had accepted my tree-less Christmas fate until I had wrapped the gifts for my parents. I had to put them somewhere, right?!?! I couldn’t take it anymore, so I dug out some cheesy garlands and lights, and decked out our wooden captain’s chair. My family was thoroughly amused at “The Christmas Chair” and it has lived on in family lore ever since. At least…that’s how I remember it happening. 😉 

 

As an adult orchestrating “Christmas” for my own little people, I was totally fine continuing with the artificial tree plan, as was my husband…until we had children. Then he became passionate about getting our own real tree…from a tree farm…one that smelled nice. I had to work through my issues with fear of burning the house down with a real tree and lights, and the mess of needles all over the floor…but truthfully, now I am hooked. 

 

There is something magical about bundling everyone up, dragging them to the local tree farm, and picking out a tree of our very own. Driving home with a tree tied to the roof of our van just felt right. We do occasionally revert to our “Christmas Chair” roots…like last year when I had meningitis for the 6 weeks encompassing Thanksgiving AND Christmas. My sweet husband got a garland and pinned it in the outline of a tree on our wall, so I would feel like we had one…until a friend dropped a real one on our doorstep. 

 

Whatever you decide is the best fit for your family – enjoy making it something special. Even the simplest task can become a tradition, and a special memory. Here are my ideas for days 4 and 5:

 

 

Day 4

Assemble your artificial Christmas tree or take the family to a local tree farm or Seasonal Tree Sale and set it up in your home. Trim the tree with homemade angel ornaments and/or with your family’s ornament collection.

 

Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh,

Over the fields we go, laughing all the way.

Bells on bob-tails ring, making spirits bright,

What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight.

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, jingle all the way!

O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!

O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.

 

 

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,

How lovely are your branches!

In beauty green will always grow

Through summer sun and winter snow.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How lovely are your branches!

 

 

Day 5

Open shepherd and sheep figurines, and read third Nativity Story, focusing on these characters. Allow child to add them to the nativity scene, playing with it if they are interested. Provide child with dress up clothes, such as a jacket or sheet to wear as a cloak and a cane or umbrella to use as a staff. Either having several children act as shepherds and sheep, or using stuffed animals as sheep, encourage your child to play a game protecting his sheep from wolves and other predators. Ask them how they would feel if a group of angels showed up in the sky and sang to them about a new baby king. This is also a great day to enjoy candy canes, shaped like a shepherd’s staff!

 

The First Noel

The first Noel the angel did say

Was to certain poor shepards in fields as they lay:

In fields where they lay a keeping their sheep

On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Noel Noel Noel Noel

Born is the King of Israel.

 

My kids love singing Jingle Bells so much, my three year old asks us to sing it to her as a lullaby all year long! I’d love to hear some of your favorite holiday memories! What is your best Christmas tree story?  

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