Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Christmas Tree that Didn't Burn

We enjoyed another year of gathering for our annual Christmas tree bonfire. The grands were asking every day when it was going to take place. There was one big change this year and my husband and I caught a lot of flack over it. The issue was that my husband and I ended a 35 year tradition of putting up a real Christmas tree by purchasing an artificial tree this year.

We had become empty nesters this year and we took the artificial tree plunge when we saw a beautiful one for a good price in Hobby Lobby about a month before Christmas. We have wanted to do it for a few years but we couldn't rob our youngest of the family tradition. Well, the youngest moved out and we went for it knowing there would be heck to pay!

The question of the bonfire came up immediately from our kids with the purchase of the tree. The news of the fake tree went through the family like wildfire. My son piped up and said the fake tree would be thrown on the fire! Our Christmas tree this year was like the elephant in the room when the kids were over. It has been a long running tradition and mom and dad of all people broke it.

Well, we made it through the holidays. Nobody really got mad but we know how disappointed some were. My plan was to adopt an abandoned tree after Christmas for the bonfire. We live in the country and we always see trees that people rid themselves of on the side of the road. In the weeks following Christmas we never came across an abandoned tree. On the day of the bonfire I told my husband that we needed to find something to add to the fire. My husband went dumpster diving on the way home from work and came home with a bunch of scrap wood and some tree limbs to burn. I headed to the bakery for a couple dozen donuts.

The tradition is that we meet in a very dark vacant lot on our street. We set up a folding table with a lantern, donuts, hot cocoa, and marshmallows . We all bring our folding chairs, the kids run around with flashlights, and the donuts and hot cocoa are enjoyed by all.

My husband started the fire using our offering of scrap wood and the few tree limbs. My son offered to go get our Christmas tree. He said he had seen it in the garage all boxed up and ready to go!

We do have ten little ones in attendance so safety is always in the forefront of all of the adults minds. All the kids have on their minds is what can they throw on the fire to burn!

When it is time to throw the Christmas Trees on the fire we all have to move way back. The dry trees go up fast, really hot, and huge!

This year a few sparklers, fire crackers, and fireworks
were added to the party!

Can you see why this is a favorite tradition for the kids
and why grandma gets so nervous?


  1. It looks like a fun tradition! We have been using an artificial tree for years now because of my allergies. When our children were little, though, we made the trip to the forest each year to cut our tree and they loved it. When I was a child the tradition was to go to the snowy tree lot and pick a tree ... and I loved it. You're right, traditions are hard to break.

  2. It does look like a fun tradition. When we camp with our grandchildren, they always want to have a campfire. So far, we've had no accidents, but vigilance is required!