Tuesday Tree Trimming Tradition

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday Night we trimmed our Christmas tree.

I think.

I have to admit that I'm not one hundred percent certain what this expression means.

Growing up I thought  trimming the tree was what you did to get it into the house because dad came home with one that was too big.

Almost every time I use the word "trim" I'm talking about cutting something away.

As in, I trimmed my daughter's bangs.(1) Or, because it disgusts you so, I trimmed the hair on my big toe.(2)

In a related note, I thought trimming the turkey was what you did to fit it in the roasting pan.

As many of you know, and I recently learned, trimming can be cutting away and decorating: removing or increasing, subtracting or adding.(3)

Trim is like the Christmas version of Aloha -- only instead of hello and goodbye it means two other opposites at the same time.

Many have the Christmas tradition of trimming: either a tree, a turkey, a beard, or something else. Whether understood or not, Christmas is a time of tradition.

As my wife and I prepare to celebrate Christmas with our daughter for the second time, I've been thinking more about the traditions that we're passing on to her. Until this week I didn't think I had a lot of Christmas traditions. Then we started to decorate the tree and it wasn't done in the manner in which I like(4), and I realized that I may have more traditions than I thought.

Here are some other traditions I'm holding to: stockings, Birthday Cake(5), presents under the tree before Christmas Day(6), Christmas Eve service, and I think that's it.

But I wonder if there's an important tradition I'm missing. I know some people read the Christmas story together every year. Others always have Chinese food on Christmas eve, which sounds excellent. And lots of people have traditions I've never heard of.(7)

So, any suggestions of Christmas traditions we should consider incorporating into our celebration?

- - -
1. for her sake I've never actually done this.
2. now doesn't that sound like a rejected Seuss rhyme?
3. Oh how I wonder what is going through a mathematician's head right now as he ponders trimming.
4. Okay, here are the following ingredients necessary to decorate a tree properly: 1. a bowl of nuts and bolts, 2. Egg Nog, 3. A Christmas tree, 4. working mini lights, and 5. Festive Music
5. That's right, because it's my birthday. Now, I'm not too picky on what the cake looks like, it can be Christmas pudding with a candle in it, so long as it's birthday themed.
6. Because the fun in opening presents comes after days, or even weeks, of trying to figure out what they are. Then you get to see how often you were right, and there's score keeping, and the whole day turned into a competition. It is awesome.
7. No joke here, just wanted to achieve the perfect number of footnotes. Mission Accomplished.