On Thursday, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving ever–just the five of us. We’d initially planned on celebrating the holiday with Andrew’s side of the family. But, alas illnesses amongst the kids within two separate family units prompted our staying put.
We introduced our kids to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time ever. With our older two children being 5 1/2 and 4-years-old, I figured they’d really get a kick out of watching the monstrous floats and balloons gliding past on the tv screen. And they did. For a while. But by the time the zillionth commercial came on, and yet another interview with some apparently well-known soap opera star or former American Idol…idol…was completed, they’d pretty much lost interest.
Fast forward a few hours and we sat down to a table boasting ham, sweet potatoes, my mother’s broccoli-cauliflower casserole and the like…and there we were, gathered around our Thanksgiving table; Andrew and I enjoying our meal, the kid’s barely taking a bite; our youngest slurping vigorously from his Sigg bottle of soy milk as usual.
Yesterday, in our traditional refusal to participate in the “tradition” of getting up at 4am to stand in a line full of anxious “Black Friday” shoppers, we drove to the local gas station, purchased a $5 tree cutting permit and headed into the Gallatin National Forest to cut our family’s Christmas tree. Since moving to Montana 5 1/2 years ago, I’ve always wanted to do this. Now that our children are (relatively) getting older, it has become more possible than in recent years.
After driving five miles on a snow-covered forest service road, and passing a truck full of men wearing neon orange vests–which reminded us that this is the last weekend of rifle hunting season–we found our spot, donned snow pants, boots, hats and mittens and set off to find our tree. It didn’t take long, of course, as one would expect when surrounded by thousands of acres of forest.
Tree cut and tied to the roof of the car, we headed home–losing one child to sleep on the way. We will erect the 2008 Hull Family Christmas tree today and, while the decorating and lighting of our tree may not be as ceremonious and magical as the lighting of the tree in New York City, or the National Christmas tree on the Mall in Washington D.C., it will be magnificent enough for us, because celebrating Christmas with three young children is all the magic a parent could hope for.