I grew up in rural Alaska. Just my parents and my big brother. No extended family to speak of for at least three thousand miles. For some, that could seem lonely, yet my parents took it as a great and wild dare. We would celebrate each and every holiday with gusto. Christmas was no exception and they cultivated a holiday filled with traditions and merriment. Every evening under cold, bright stars, my dad (Dr Barry) would tirelessly pull the sled. My brother and I bundled up snug in brightly colored puffed snowsuits. Holiday stories were read before being tucked in at night, homemade hot and flaky crescent rolls slathered in zesty lemon curd sat atop the table on Christmas morning. By the time I grew up and had a family of my own- I was groomed and ready.
I took on this task with a lot of ambitious ideas. First among them would be searching for the perfect tree. Visions swirled in my head of holiday music softly humming, hot ciders at the ready, children bundled in cozy blankets while we ambled over the farm seeking that crowning jewel. However, It did not take long for reality to set in.
The truth looks more like mass kids piled on top of each other yelling wildly. An endless hike -eyes scanning the distance for the One. And when finally found will inevitably, and in true Grizwold fashion, be a tree that is at least double the height of our ceiling. After a tedious wrestle between man and bush, we will load it into the back, only to have it bounce out of the ole pickup and careen down the hillside on the drive back home. True story.
Yet, we press on.
Because, traditions aren't really about us, and sometimes, in certain seasons of life they can be considerably less than dreamy, but they are fundamental. Traditions bring comfort, they add a sense of belonging, reminding us that we are a part of something. There is a brilliance in the the way they create lasting memories, so that when the kids are all grown up and have sweet sweet children of their own- hopefully we will have instilled in them a desire to keep putting family first. Plus, oh the stories they will have. "Remember that time we went searching for a tree and ...."
Chelsea Co-Founder of Dr Barry's Remedies