Today I was listening to a Podcast by a man I really respect, John Eldredge. His topic was from a new book he has out called Walking With God. It's a great idea - a one-year slice from his personal journal. Well, I'm sure he spruced it up a bit-no one's journal on its own would be that fascinating I suspect.
At any rate, the Podcast is short clips of him reading from the new book. This broadcast was on Listening to God. He opened with a story of how he, his wife, and two sons have a tradition of tromping out through the woods after Thanksgiving to cut down their Christmas tree. What that had to do with Listening to God, I missed. My mind got stuck out in those woods.
You see, my family was anything but "normal" and happy. My parents divorced when I was eleven. And this was WAY back when divorce was rare, so we looked like freaks. To make matters worse, we lived in a small town and dad married his secretary. I'm pretty sure the story ran in the shopping news.
Needless to say, mom and I didn't do a lot of hunting for Christmas trees. Unless you count hunting for a lot somewhere. She was so busy working three jobs, doing housework, and trying not to totally freak out, I'm amazed we even had a tree.
As a divorced single parent myself, we found our early trees at a local place called Chubby and Tubby, where every tree cost $5.98. They were already cut for us. We did get to tromp around, though. Around the parking lot. Of course, the trunks were about 1 1/2" round, so if we'd had the opportunity to search them out in the wood, I could have chopped them down with a pocket knife. Or just knock them over.
That mental picture: of a happy, "normal" family skipping off through the Colorado woods - probably in the snow - just set me back a bit today. I mean, wouldn't that be a super experience?
But, really? The temptation to resent the Eldredge's their awesome-sounding, picture-book traditions could seriously rob me from appreciating the quirky and fun traditions my family's instituted. Off the top of my head, I can't name them. But I'm sure we have them! I'll try to research this and get back to you all. =)