New town, old traditions

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With an official crisp in the air and Thanksgiving behind us, Christmastime has blown into our lives in a bluster of letters to Santa, decorating and to-do lists.
As magical as the season is, it’s all too easy for me to get wrapped up in the things I “need” to do, and lose sight of what’s most important about this special season – spending time with the ones we love.
To keep myself in check, I make sure that at least these same two things absolutely have to happen every December. One, taking pictures with Santa and, two, bundling up and heading out to pick the perfect tree.
You’d better believe I force my children to sit on Santa’s lap! I do wish they didn’t hate it so much, mainly the little two, and having them endure this unusual form of parent-torture does make me feel the teeniest bit guilty, but I love these annual photo sessions!
We keep an album just for Christmas pictures, and it’s the best time to go through and see the progression of their reactions. They vary from severe uncertainty to straight-up ugly crying, and it’s a staple to our Christmas season. Also, what you don’t see in these pictures is that the entire photo opportunity was roughly 90 seconds long, and they all got to pick out special cookies after … I promise no children were harmed in the making of these hilarious memories!
Every year we go pick out our Christmas tree, all together, which sort of marks the Schupbach family Christmas kick-off. We go to different places, and last year we even went to cut down our own at a tree farm (way cool!), but once the tree we unload it, and the first round of pine needles are swept up, we put on our favorite holiday cheer-filled movies while we deck the halls and over-indulge on cookies and hot chocolate.
Before we had kids, Mike and I would invest a small sum of money into some beautifully hand-painted ornaments that we would carefully hang limb-by-limb. Now that our house is over-run with the pitter-patter of our not-so-gentle little ones, we end up heading to the hardware store for some more child-friendly options.
Our tree doesn’t end up looking anything like you'd see in a magazine (no Pinterest moments here), but the kids have a blast getting hang all the ornaments themselves, and enjoying these moments with them is what it’s all about.
However, this year is a bit different since we’ve recently moved. We absolutely will hang onto the traditions we’ve built together as a family, but we’re also excited to be part of a new community and adopt some new small-town traditions.
Between Lifetime and The Hallmark Channel, I’ve probably watched a hundred different Christmas movies and my favorites are always the ones where a big city-slicker comes to a small town in search of something (like the perfect Rockefeller Center tree) and ends up falling in love with an unlikely local... and the rest is history.
As we drive through wreath-lined streets and anxiously await the annual tree lighting festival, I can’t help but feel like we are writing own Hallmark-esque script. This big city family took a chance on a new life and grew even closer than before, just in time for Christmas.

Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Fulshear area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.

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