Every year after Thanksgiving my family loads up and heads to the mountains to find the perfect Christmas tree. This year was the last year of the original Jones Five (plus 3 pups) before Tyler and I get married in April. Next year he will join the trip and I will have a new last name... crazy!
We usually make a day trip out of finding our tree and enjoy the nearby towns of Boone or West Jefferson. I love seeing car after car with trees strapped to the top, knowing that they are going to be decorated with years and years of memorable ornaments picked up on special trips or hand-crafted in school.
Tyler and I ended up going to a local tree stand near our home to pick out our first tree and needless to say, we quickly loaded back up in his truck when we saw the prices. Off to Lowe's Hardware we went to find the perfect little tree to fit in a tiny spot that we managed to create in our living room.
While Tyler grew up with a fake tree, I am 100% team real tree. But for me, it's more about the traditions surrounding our Jones Family annual mountain trip that I would miss more than the constant vacuuming around the tree stand. A small tree meant our very few ornaments wouldn't look as silly as they would on a normal size tree. Two ornaments, in particular, are my absolute favorites and are front and center.
My late Grandmom Jones, whose ring I also have as my engagement ring, would order an ornament from the White House each year. My parents were able to acquire many ornaments from her collection when of my grandparents passed away a few years ago. Each year my brother, sister and I are now gifted one heirloom ornament a year. This ornament is honoring President Woodrow Wilson and has words from his War Message to Congress on April 2, 1917, inscribed on the back, “Peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.”
This is our very first travel ornament! Tyler surprised me with a weekend trip to his favorite place, Annapolis, over labor day weekend this year. He has such fond memories visiting his grandparents while they lived and couldn't wait to share it with me. It was such a beautiful port town and the Naval Academy presence in the city is one of a kind. Everywhere you look you would see Midshipmen in uniform casual going on with their day.
We both love to travel, me a tad bit more than him ;), but I can't wait to continue the tradition of picking up an ornament on all of our trips. One day our Chrismas tree will be filled with memories from places we visited together as a family... and I'll take a trip over a tangible thing any day!