Every year since we were first married, my husband and I and his family have gone the day after Thanksgiving to the Mt. Hood National Forest to get our real Christmas tree. When I say, “real” I mean real live tree from  the real woods.

We purchase buy our $5 permit at the Estacada Ranger Station — yep, only five dollars for a noble—or any variety you can find—and the price has never gone up—and we head up to the woods and make a day of it.

We pack lunches and sleds and a saw and snow boots and ski jackets and chains and snow pants and we hope for snow while looking for that perfect tree.

It is a tradition that my husband Chris’s parents started with his family when they moved here in his teen and young adult years And as all the kids in his family got married, we have maintained that tradition.

Best Black Friday tradition and there’s no fighting over sweaters marked down 95 percent.

What’s super cool now is how, as our kids are becoming adults and starting their own families, they now value this day-after-Christmas-tree-search-in-the-woods tradition, and make it a priority. Our oldest son Ryan and his sweet little family value this tradition so much that they make sure they’re in town each Thanksgiving so they can get their tree the next day,

Keeping up traditions we grew up with and establishing new or revised ones is important  in our families. It creates a family identity for our children, a feeling of roots and connection, a way of belonging, of being able to say, “this is what our family does.”

What kind of holiday traditions do you celebrate? What about other traditions for other reasons?

How do you mom? #howyoumom30

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