The Tradition of the Falling Christmas Tree
Growing up, my parents always got a real Christmas tree. My Dad would take me and my brothers to a little tree farm not far from our house. We would spend some time wandering among the trees to find the perfect tree that would go in front of our living room window. Either Dad or one of my older brothers would crawl under the tree with a saw to cut it down while the rest of us stood back and watched. A few minutes later we were throwing it in the back of Dad’s old work truck to haul it home and show Mom the perfect tree.
After spending the afternoon getting it set up, stringing the lights, and placing the ornaments, the tree would inevitably fall over. We always had a knack for picking out trees with crooked trunks. Fortunately, Dad had a solution to the crooked tree by tying fishing line around the top of the tree and fastening it to the curtain rod. Every once in a while, the line wasn’t strong enough and we would be awoken in the middle of the night from a loud crash coming from the living room.
I’m sure at the time, my parents were frustrated about us always picking out a tree that leans. There was always a mess and broken ornaments. But looking back on my childhood, it was a fond memory for me. Something I can laugh and joke about today. Today, we have an artificial tree that is straight and sturdy. That was one tradition I did not think needed to be continued.
During the past 20+ years, my wife and I have tried creating our own traditions with our kids. Fortunately, none of them involved trees randomly crashing to the ground. I love the traditions that we have in our family. I hope my kids will have good memories of the smells of Christmas cookies baking, watching old Christmas movies with just the Christmas tree lighting up the room, and being surrounded by friends and family. When the kids were younger, it was always fun to watch then run down the stairs with excitement and anticipation to see what lied beneath the tree for them. As they are older now, they have that same amount of excitement in giving gifts and serving others.
Traditions are also a big part of our lives at work. Since the foundation of Union County Electric Cooperative in 1937, we have had a tradition of providing safe and reliable service to our members. We continue looking to what our member’s needs are and doing our best to fill those needs. That is one of the wonderful things about Cooperatives. Serving others is in our blood; it’s just naturally what we strive to do.
If your family doesn’t have traditions, I encourage you to start some this year. Consider volunteering or helping a neighbor in need. While 2020 has been a very difficult and stressful year for many, I pray that you are able to find peace and joy during this Christmas season. Enjoy the time that you can spend with your friends and family over the coming weeks. Remember to smile when the tree falls. Those are the memories and the moments that you can look back on with laughter and a grateful heart.