25 Dec 2009

On the First Day of Christmas...

I saw a lovely Christmas Tree!

I LOVE Christmas Trees!

Christmas Trees are definitely a northern European tradition (and German and Scandinavian immigration to the US). It wasn't something done in Spain until recently (globalisation etc.) and it's still not all that frequent. Nowadays we have trouble finding a decent tree in Alicante, the local pine trees aren't the right kind. I don't know where they bring them in from, but they're mostly kind of sad. Although my Dad usually manages to find a pretty decent one, I really miss our "good old" Christmas Tree days in Mexico City. We used to go out the 1st or 2nd weekend in December to a Christmas Tree farm (with the money from one tree they'd plant ten more and use half for reforestation projects) about an hour out of town. We'd make a day out of it with a couple of other families. Go to the "farm" where they'd hand us a saw, a net and rope and then we'd walk out among the trees until we found "our" tree. After we placed it on the car we'd head up to the flanks of the Popocatepetl Volcano and have a massive picnic in the forest by a stream. Usually very cold, but we always had lots of fun with our friends and the dog. One of our friends was a French chef, another had a deli... so between them and my Dad we had a feast! Guitars would be out, music abound... and we'd go home at the end of a lovely day! And then set the tree up the following weekend.

I loved those trees! It's a good thing we lived in a house with a very high hall (open staircase to the second floor), because we always ended up with very big trees! We usually had to decorate them with ladders or from the staircase. We have a very random collection of decorations, from a mobile of "the cat and the fiddle" my Mom made once upon a time for my sister's crib, to car rear-view mirror decorations from Saudi Arabia, to snowflakes my Mom crocheted, to childhood crafts, to glitzy globes etc. Such memories... Now we only put on about a third of the decorations. ;o) I wish I had a picture to share, but apparently my old photos are still in a box and with all the rushing yesterday I didn't have time to look for one (let alone scan it). And now we're at my aunt's in Valencia for the weekend (she and my cousins were supposed to come to our house for Christmas lunch, but her bad back flared up and impossile for her to deal with the 2h drive, so we got up early and brought the turkey and all the trimmings here and surprised her!) so no more photos...

Tomorrow a Spanish tradition: Nativity Scenes!


  1. When my daughter was young, I would drag her to those cut-your-own places. Only it was colder. Always the first weekend in December. I loved it. She hated it. Now I have a fiber optic tree - no ornaments. I put (well, Hubby does it for me)lights on the evergreen tree out front. It still has a lot of growing to do.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Hehehe Lily, you make it sound like such a hard time for her! How come she hated it? We LOVED it! Was such an "adventure", and with the dog runnng around, trying to choose the "perfect" tree among so many perfect ones... All of us (the 3 "girls" and my parents) miss those trips... :p

  3. How wonderful that you all surprised your aunt on Christmas Day. Cris, you have such a terrific family, so caring and full of love. I always see this in your postings about them.

    Your story of cutting the tree and the follow-up picnic sounds like so much fun and what great memories you have. The decorations are so unique sounding, maybe we'll get to see a photo next year.

  4. lol! My Aunt's face when I walked through the door was one of those that should have been framed! Total astonishment and happiness. Fabulous! And even better when she asked my mom if we'd brought the turkey leftovers for lunch... she never imagined we'd show up with the whole turkey etc to cook there! :o)


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