Merry Christmas everyone! Since Thanksgiving and my weeklong break have come and gone, I feel like I can actually say that! I have taken a good month off from posting because I wanted to get my head back in the game and focus on my overwhelming schedule and coursework. Sometimes I find it hard to produce content each week because I want everything I do to be genuine and meaningful. Taking some time off helped me realign myself to my goals and allowed me to dream up some new content ideas. My sister and I took some time to catch up and also shoot some new looks which will be coming to the blog soon, you won't want to miss it! To be updated when I post, sign up for my email list on the right hand side of my page. I truly appreciate your continued support and interest.
Today I am excited to bring you a post straight from the heart. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite (if not my favorite) holiday. It marks the transition into the Christmas season and it means time with family, delicious food and traditions. These last two years Thanksgiving has meant so much more to me as it is my first opportunity to be home for an extended period of time and finally relax. It is my first chance to catch up with friends, mentors, coaches, teammates, and most importantly family. As I get older, it is fun to think about my family's traditions and carrying them on to my own family.
My absolute favorite family tradition comes every year on the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). My parents started this tradition before I was even born. For years we have all packed into our family's van and driven to Summers Christmas Tree Farm in Middleton, WI. Even when we lived in Mundelein, IL, we would drive to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving with my grandparents and stay the next day to go to Summers. We would drive all the way back home with our tree roped to the top of our car.
Summers to me and to my family is more than just the Christmas tree farm we go to once every year. It is extra special because both my dad and my uncle worked there when they were in high school. They assisted in planting and tending to the trees in the summer and in the fall/winter they helped families just like ours find the perfect tree. Every year we get to catch up with the owners and ask them where to find our perfect tree.
I have fond memories of trekking into the fields rain, snow, or shine with my family and my grandpa. My siblings and I have always had fun in the snow or picking out our personal favorite tree. Once we have found OUR tree with the perfect tall height, color, and fullness, we always take tons of photos in front of it. Then my dad starts the process of cutting it down. After the tree falls to the ground we head back to the parking lot where our tree will be bound so it can be strapped to the top of our car.
Another one of my favorite parts of Summers is the festive shop. Entering the shop is like walking into a winter wonderland. I remember just walking around in awe of the sheer number of ornaments and dreaming of where I could use each decoration. One of my favorite ornaments in our family's collection is a red Summers truck with a Christmas tree in the back which we got from the shop.
This year we made our way out to Summers enthusiastically singing to Christmas music on the radio (FINALLY!) and I couldn't help but smile when I saw the first glimpses of the Summers sign. With the temperature being warmer than usual, there was no snow sadly, but it was easier to stay outside for an extended period of time. To find a tall and full tree we had to go far into the back of the farm but we finally found the perfect tree. We of course took tons of photos in front of it. Something different did happen this year, my siblings and I decided to help and carry the tree all the way back to the parking lot. We may have stopped a few times, but afterwards we felt very accomplished!
We spent the next day decorating the tree, each of us putting up our favorite ornaments. Our family has another tradition that I love regarding this. Each year one of our presents is a new ornament related to our year or our interests. The hope is that the first time we have a Christmas tree of our own, we would have enough ornaments to fill it. Two of my favorites are one I got last year, an Iowa State snowman, and a fashion themed one! We danced and sang to Christmas music until the tree was so full that there was almost no spots for ornaments remaining. I am already excited to return home so I can take advantage of time in front of the beautiful and amazing smelling tree!
I cannot explain how nice it was to be home with my family and friends for a while. Spending time with my siblings and my closest friends made me feel so comfortable and got me excited for winter break when I'll have even more time to catch up and have fun. The countdown to winter break and Christmas has begun and I am so beyond excited. I know that in the future, God-willing, our tradition of cutting down and having a real Christmas tree is one I want to continue with my own family. It makes for great memories and a truly special holiday.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I would love to hear about your favorite family traditions or ones you hope to start/continue with your family. Leave me a comment or contact me to let me know! As always, thanks for reading. And don't forget to subscribe so you can be notified when those new outfit photos come to the blog!