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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! To say that I love the holidays is a bit of an understatement. The hustle and bustle of the season, time spent with friends and family, holiday entertaining, shopping for the perfect gift—all of it!

It’s also a time to reflect on the past year and reminisce about traditions of holidays past, while creating new memories with family and friends. 

Growing up, my parents always made the holidays magical. As children, we couldn’t wait for Christmas break. It meant no school, of course, but also time spent with each other creating family traditions.

Every family has traditions. My most treasured tradition involves the Christmas tree. Every year, immediately following Thanksgiving dinner, we loaded up in our nine-passenger station wagon to embark on my mother’s quest for the “perfect” Christmas tree. While my mother, sister and I loved the annual search, my brother and dad loathed it. For them it meant standing in the cold patiently waiting for us to pick a tree. 

Year after year, the ritual remained the same. We would visit at least a half a dozen tree lots, Mom asking Dad to pull out multiple specimens as she walked around to carefully inspect them—only to reject each one. 

In the end, we always ended up at the beginning. We would go back to the first lot and my mother would pick out a tree, with her offspring’s approval of course. My dad would rejoice in the decision, quickly strap the tree to the top of our car and drive home to begin the decorating process.

I am happy to say the tradition continues. I still look forward to picking out our tree. My husband, not so much. He now endures the painful process that my father once did. Please pray for him this holiday season as we embark on this annual trip.

I hope your holiday season is magical, filled with joy and lasting memories!

Until next year!

-Ashlee

This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue of Augusta Magazine.