Sunday, December 15, 2013

O Tannenbaum (Farms!)

My holiday trees have gone artificial. But thank goodness I get the "tree experience" with Rick.
We decided to show our Japanese friends the Christmas decorating experience -- and that started with a visit to Tannenbaum Farms to get our tree!
It was a cold, windy day and snow was falling. It looked beautiful and it was a good thing we were bunded up!
A big red wagon pulled by a tractor took us out into the tree area and dropped us off at a little hut, pointing us toward the available trees.
We pulled our wagon behind us as we checked out numerous trees to see if they would do.
Finally, we found one. Finding the right tree is a big "aha" moment!
We let Rintaro start the cutting, with Rick showing him how to work the saw.
Then he was on his own!
That worked for awhile; then Sunny took a turn.
 Pretty soon Rick took over and it was down in a flash!
While we waited for our ride back, we warmed ourselves by the fire.
It was a very popular place!
Meanwhile Sunny checked out a hollowed tree tunnel...
...and I admired the reindeer!
Back at the main building we stopped into the Christmas store to warm up.
It was beautiful with many decorated trees that captivated us all.
No visit would be complete without checking in with Santa!
Back home, we made hot chocolate. The kids got their lesson in "real" hot chocolate (definitely not my 25 calorie packet of Diet Swiss Miss.)
We all got the lights untangled and tree in place.
Then Hiroko arrived and Rick started making pizza. I'm not sure he's ever cooked before a more attentive audience.
A VERY attentive audience!
Of course, then it was time to decorate the tree. We had plenty of holiday music and holiday cheer as minute by minute the tree became more beautiful.
For all of us, it was a wonderful experience, "topped" off with Rick's placing his grandmother's angel at the top of the tree.
Did I mention that many photos were taken?
And lots of love and joy was shared.

For our friends, a new experience. For us, one we'll never forget -- the joy of sharing traditions with friends.


Jenny Woolf said...

It looks so much more fun buying your tree there than it does buying ours here. We just went to a large homeware and garden store and ... bought a tree. I don't think I've ever seen anywhere that makes such a nice experience of it as Tannenbaum's. I am sure your Japanese friends had an experience they will remember all their lives! The kind of thing that money can't buy because they are participating in a real custom in a foreign family. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Joanne Huffman said...

It looks like a wonderful time was had by all. It's always fun to share Christmas.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It looks like the perfect tree-hunting adventure, particularly with a family learning about all these customs! And hot chocolate afterwards? Absolutely perfect! You're getting me into the holiday spirit, Jeanie!

Mae Travels said...

I like the photo of the kids watching the oven window while the pizza cooks. You seem to be having lots of fun, I hope the holidays are nothing but!

anno said...

Wow! What a completely fabulous experience -- Tannenbaum's does a great thing by turning a mundane commodity exchange into something festive and memorable --thanks for making the introduction!

Jeanie said...

What a fun time and extra special that you got to share it with your friends.
It is so nice that Rick has his grandmother's angel. I have the angel that was on all my trees growing up and it is very special to me.

Annesphamily said...

Pretty tree! That experience has to be such a memory maker! Love your friends, the children look so excited! Always fun to tell Santa hi! Have a good week. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Jo said...

What a wonderful experience! I was hoping for pictures of the pizza as well. And, wow, that's a lot of snow you have!

Beth M. said...

I love how involved the kids got, especially while monitoring the pizza. :)

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

What a beautiful post! How wonderful it must have been for everyone to enjoy each other and the whole experience of finding and decorating a tree. And the photos of the children's intense interest in the pizza making process are so cute!

Arti said...

What a precious experience that must have been! I'm all admiration for such a real tree decoration. I admit I haven't even had such an exp. You're a great friend and host to share your traditions. All you've captured here are in such details and so interesting. Like watching a home movie!

Marilyn Miller said...

Oh I love this and what a wonderful experience for sure for these visitors. Cute seeing them watching the oven with the pizza too. I have never seen little carts like that to carry your tree. The snow makes for some nice atmosphere and holiday spirit too.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jeanie! How special for your friends and thank you for sharing this with us. I would loved to have been along riding on the red wagon too. It reminds me of when I was little, growing up in Alabama, we would go to my granddaddy's farm and go to the woods and find our tree and cut it down! What a wonderful time. You made some beautiful and lasting memories for your friends.
Hope you're doing well and you're always a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

The French Hutch said...

What a special precious Christmas Post!!! I want to go with you next year when you select your tree! My dream, a snowfall and picking out the tree and hot chocolate to warm up with. We use to always have a live tree, but picked out on the Boy Scout lot on a southern warm and balmy day. Not the stuff this post is made of. Thanks for sharing, love all your photos.

Merry Christmas,
The French Hutch

Jennifer Richardson said...

How gorgeous is your tree!
The whole experience looks like
yuletide bliss:)
Those lucky kids were treated to
such a joyful ride!
Glad to see you looking so radiant
....this season is agreeing with you (I think retirement looks wonderful on you!)
Say, thanks for all the ways
you've made my life lighter
and brighter this year.
Love, joy, and grace to you,

paris parfait said...

What a fantastic experience for your Japanese friends (and for you and Rick!) It's nice to see you celebrating the holidays in such style.

The Old Parsonage said...

Such beautiful memories - Rick is one cool cat:)

Love that they gave you a little wagon thing to pull your tree in, we (as in Mr OP) has to carry ours.

I wishing you the most wonderful Christmas ever!


I need orange said...

What a wonderful set of traditions to share with international visitors! I can't imagine they'd get to do that set of things anywhere but here in the USA.

What a great plan, beautifully executed.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh that is so neat that you got to share this experience with a family that is new to our traditions. I love the photos of the kids watching Rick make the pizza and then watching it bake! Also, the homemade hot cocoa sounds wonderful. The 'real stuff' is the best! :) The tree looks beautiful! I think we only had a real tree maybe once or twice growing up, and we definitely did not cut it down ourselves so I am impressed!!

Bella Rum said...

Oh, my gosh. Thank you for taking us along. We've never cut our own tree. We have an artificial tree now, but we used to get a live one from a lot at Christmas. Rick's tree is beautiful and I know a lot of fun was had in the process.

Sally Wessely said...

I think some great memories were made by this experience. You look very festive in your red coat.

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