When I was a kid, my family got a fresh Christmas tree each year. I have fond memories of that tradition. It wasn’t just about the piney scent of the real tree — although I loved that — it was about the experience of going to the tree lot (or farm) together and picking out the perfect spruce or fir.
We typically ventured out the weekend after Thanksgiving and would select as big of a tree as we could fit in our living room. We’d bring it home, string colored lights, and decorate it with glass balls and an array of handmade ornaments. Dad would turn on Christmas music and Mom would make hot chocolate. I still cherish the memory of decorating the tree with my family.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, more millennials are buying live Christmas trees this year than in years past, creating a higher demand for fresh trees. Even though I typically put up an artificial tree, which is less hassle (and mess), this year I ’m considering splurging for a fresh tree … you know, for old times’ sake.
Several sources have reported that millennials are leaning into nostalgia this year — from taking in remakes of holiday classics (“Home Sweet Home Alone”) to taking up timeworn holiday pastimes such as sending handmade Christmas cards. This behavior seems to be a continuation of the old money aesthetic trend which I wrote about several months ago. In tumultuous times, young adults seem eager to reengage with traditions and practices from their childhoods — which explains this year’s high demand for Christmas trees.
Journey to the past
If you’re craving nostalgia this Christmas, here are several ideas to get you started:
- Make an old-fashioned popcorn and cranberry garland
- Go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood (or to shut-ins from your church)
- Wrap gifts in brown paper and string or stamp your own Christmas wrapping paper
- Watch a Christmas movie from before 1960 — “White Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” are a few of my all-time favorites
- Write personal messages in Christmas cards
- Purchase some unique vintage gifts at the thrift store
- Hang candy canes on your tree and enjoy one now and then
- Gather some friends and drive through neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights
- Add Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney to your holiday playlist
- Host a holiday game night
- Bake Christmas cookies and take them to your neighbors
- Decorate with pinecones, greenery and other natural items you find near your home
- Volunteer at a rescue mission or other ministry during the holidays
- Build a gingerbread house
- Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 at your Christmas gathering
Savor the season
There are many ways to add nostalgia to your holiday season. What you’ll remember most are the people you shared it with and special moments celebrating the Savior’s birth. So, sing a carol, write a Christmas card and trim the tree. And as you cherish a connection to simpler times, remember that through all times Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. And that is worth celebrating.
Copyright 2021 Suzanne Gosselin. All Rights Reserved.