our magical tree tradition

Another year, another Christmas Tree. Yes, one of our family’s tradition and favorite day of the year has already gone by, and once again, it was just perfect. Not sure what’s in the air this year, but we were all so very anxious to start decorating for Christmas that we’ve decided to go out to our favorite Christmas Tree farm a week earlier, which we normally do on the first weekend of December.

I will do a house tour of our Christmas decorations sometime next week to show you all why this is the time of the year where I truly fall in love with my house, year after year. I do love my ‘normal’ house, but nothing compares to walking into a Christmas decorated house with the fresh smell of fir. That just makes me happy.

So on Saturday, we talked about it and decided that we didn’t wanted to wait another week before we’d go get our tree, and then made some plans to go to Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park the following day. My mom, Frank and my aunt Lise-Ann decided to join us. The boys had a friend’s birthday party in the morning, and as soon as we got back home, they putted on their pj’s and snowsuits and on our way we were!

It was our 7th visit to Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park and we still love it every year like it was our first time. I have a feeling that we will never grow tired of this place and I truly hope that one day our grandchildren will come with us to pick our tree, and we’ll all make a day out of it, and continue this tradition of ours…

So on Sunday, on our way there, the ground was lightly covered with snow, weather was great and everybody was happy. On the way there, Logan told us that it was his favorite day of the year, which made me so happy! He then added that making a snowman and skating were also his favorite days of the year (but he has NEVER skated yet in his life!!! HAHA). Once we got to the farm, we immediately went to the wagon ride and hit the fields. We strolled for a while before Brian found our magical tree. He usually choose the biggest tree he finds, but this year he kinda went for a pretty one instead of a big one, and I don’t know, but I love a big tree, and I told him that he should have gone bigger; so, well, I guess that after making that comment about his tree I can expect the biggest tree that will physically fits into our house next year; oh well!

So when I say magical tree, and I know I have told you about our corny tradition in last year’s post, but for those who are new here, each year when we go pick out our tree, my mom hides two bags with the boys’ names under the tree that we have chosen. When we (the adults) finally decide on a tree, we bring the boys for a little walk while my mom hides their bags under it, and then we bring back the boys close to the tree and let them walk by themselves until they find their bags with their names, and therefore our magical tree! Silly, but all they could talk about on the way there was which tree would be ours and what could be the surprise they would find under it. It’s usually a small ornament and chocolate, but it gets them really excited!

Once the tree was cut down, we took the wagon back to see the Reindeer. Definitely my favorite moment. Only wish I could do a photoshoot with them à la Mariah Carey! That would be a dream come true. But sadly I don’t own a tight red Santa suit nor am I allowed to go inside the Reindeer’s pens! That’s too bad!!!

The year, for the first time, we ventured past the Reindeer and took a walk on Candy Cane Lane, played in the maze and visited Santa’s workshop. Wish more snow had fallen to make snowballs and throw them at the giant target. Brian found a way to make some of dead grass and a tiny bit of snow; it kinda worked and it was a hit!

Then it was time to warm up by the fire pit, eat a hot dog and drink a hot cocoa! We also made our way into the warm up cabin to look at a few snapshot of all the visiting guests over the years. We love finding some of our older pictures on the wall.

Finally, Brian and Frank tied the tree onto the car and we drove back home for an evening of decorating and diner. It’s now part of the tradition to eat a warm homemade lasagna after freezing our bums all afternoon. We finished the tree, ate dinner, had some raspberry pie and then called it a night. But before going to bed, even if it was past their bedtime, we decided to let the boys watch the tree for a little while, upon their request, while also making plans to play board games in front of it today after school. They just love to sit and watch all the lights and ornaments. So last night, while looking at it, they talked about how good they have to be in order to receive gifts on Christmas morning. Hopefully they’ll remember about it in the morning! Yeah right.

So glad the Holidays are upon us, that my house smells like fir when I walk in, and that my boys love Christmas as much as we do. Now let’s the parties begin!

 

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o christmas tree

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Christmas tree, hot cocoa and reindeer’s… all favorites of mine!  All found at one of my favorite places: Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park.

I always wanted to see real reindeer’s, you know like the one Mariah Carey pets in her Christmas album… well I found them at this beautiful Christmas Tree Farm!

When Liam was one and Logan only a few months old, I started to search for Christmas Tree Farms in our region. We always had real Christmas Trees that we bought from a local merchant, but that year I wanted to go out and cut our own tree and take pictures with the kids. So I found many places where you could cut your own tree, but the most interesting one of them all was definitely that cute place I found in Beckwith, ‘just outside of Ottawa’ I told Brian.

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I remember Brian not being really enthusiastic about going there the first time.  He did complain for most of the drive there, saying he couldn’t believe we were driving 2 hours to get a tree… but last weekend marked the 5th year in a row that we go there on the first Saturday of December to get our Christmas Tree, and now it has become a family tradition that he wouldn’t miss. Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park is not that far, it’s about 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa, so one hour from home.  But I would easily drive 3 hours to get there, I just love this place!

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The family that owns the farm is the best.  They make you feel like old friends. Remembering you, remembering your kids, and remembering that you want the biggest tree you can find!

The farm is huge, you can visit Santa workshop, you can skate, go through candy cane lane or a hay maze, tubing, warm up in a cabin or by the outside bonfire, all while sipping your hot cocoa.  Tractor wagon rides take you to one of the trees lots, where you will find your perfect tree, cut it, and then bring it home.  It’s never an easy job, these things are sturdy… and it’s quite a workout… well that’s what Brian tells me!

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We have a corny tradition… we look for the tree we want, and once we found it, we put little surprises under it for the boys to find.  We walk away for a minute or two, and then we bring them back closer to it so they can find the surprises and our tree by themselves… and that’s how they pick our tree every year!  They love it!  One year they found Rudolph and Clarice stuffed animals, then some Elf on the shelf ornaments.  They know they’ll find something for them when they spot our magic tree!  Last year, the magic even brought me some chocolate… I just loved it! (Thanks Mom)a4

The first couple times, we went with the boys, then the 3rd time we brought my Mom and Frank, last year Mom and Frank and Jojo and Lulu came; and this year Brian’s dad Joe was added to the group.  Just like Brian the first year, he couldn’t believe we were driving that far to get our tree, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be back next year!  We love to have our family with us.  It’s the perfect early December/holiday activity.

The best part for me are the reindeers.  They are gorgeous.  I could spend hours just looking at them.  The horns are spectacular.  We even got to bring 3 horns home in the last few years… perfect Christmas decorations!  We take a LOTS of picture, we laugh and we smile all day long!a23

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Once we get home, we put the tree up, then Brian spends at least 20 minutes making sure it’s going to stay up (something we forgot do the first couple year!!!), and then while I prepare a big pasta diner for everyone, they all decorate our beautiful tree. Family is the best, Christmas is the best and Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park helps make the perfect memories.

You should definitely visit… the holidays aren’t even started yet and I can’t wait to go back to that place next year!

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