Tuesday, April 08, 2008


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.  =)

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