You Had Me at Holidays... Ashton Dene's Antics

Today's  post is from an old friend of mine who I lost touch with after high school. We randomly found each other through a blog I was doing a Clever Betty giveaway on, and had the crazy realization that we know each other from childhood! I asked Ashton to blog for you all because I remember her family being very close, fun-loving and full of holiday traditions. Today she's going to share one of those traditions with you.

Hi y'all! I'm Ashton from Ashton Dene's Antics and am so excited to be posting during You Had Me at Holidays! Lauren is one of my oldest friends and I love that we've reconnected through the blogging world.

As far as Christmas goes in my family, we have more traditions than most, but I love each tradition and anxiously await getting together with my sisters and parents to celebrate the holidays.

The tradition I'd like to share with you all is the one that really kicks off our Christmas holiday - picking out our Christmas tree. Each year we load up in two cars and head out to the Mule Christmas Tree Farm the day after Thanksgiving. Here are our "rules" for picking out the Albert Family Christmas Tree.

"Albert Family Rules to Picking Out A Christmas Tree"

1. Make sure the whole family (that is in town) makes it out to the tree lot.

The whole family there means that not tree will go uncritiqued in your quest for the perfect Christmas tree!

2. Know *exactly* what you are looking for.

In the Albert family we have a few particulars we look for. A pine cone is a must (insisted by my mom, Jonna), so in previous years we have started bringing a pine cone with us to strategically place in the tree (just don't tell my mom!!). A very, very special find (and christmas tree quest ender) is a birds nest. In past years, we have in fact found this and it is rather magical.

3. To go along with step number 2, height and width are important (the tree has to make it through the door!).Over the years we haven't always had a measuring tape with us, so my sisters and I have come up with a few of our own.

First is the jump test.

If baby sis can jump to the top of the tree... it is too short! (she almost never can jump to the top, but seeing her try and get ups at every tree we like is hilarious if nothing else)

Second is the hug test.

If baby sis can hug the tree (like seen in the picture above)... it is too skinny!

As you can tell, we may be in our twenties, but we are little kids at heart and always want the biggest tree allowed in the house!

4. Always remember where your tree is.

We at the Albert house have found that it is often best to look for Christmas trees when it is cold/snowing out. Our tree selection time is much shorter...instead of the trekking we did this year since it was unseasonably warm.

5. Once you finally decide on a tree...cutting it down is tricky. You should always let your best player go first.

But let everyone get a chance until you reach

Victory and timber is yelled out by all.

6. Enjoy hot chocolate while they do all the necessary shaking/trimming/netting before you take the tree home.

7. Decorate and enjoy for the holiday season.

This is basically a play by play of exactly how the Albert family picks out a Christmas tree, which we have been doing since we are little girls. Each of these steps, as silly as they sound, are actual conversations and activities that take place during our Christmas tree quest.

I hope that no matter if your tree comes from the farm or a box at Target that you get to enjoy the holiday season with people you love.

Merry Christmas!
x, ashton

See? I love that the Albert family takes their traditions seriously. And this is just one of many! Ashton's dad was actually my high school art teacher, and I have fond memories of blackout bingo and white elephant gift exchanges that he made sure to bring from his family to the classroom. More traditions to come... tune in tomorrow for a St. Louis themed YHMH!

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