THE LOOP
Andrew

A Family Tradition

Every year for nearly the last two decades my family and I travel up the hill to get our Christmas tree bright and early the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). When I say my “family”, I also mean my aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and so on. We go to the same Christmas tree farm in Pollock Pines to quickly hunt for the best-looking, symmetrical tree there is to take home and put up in the living room.


We aren’t the only ones who do this there either; the farm we go to is always bustling with families, dogs and holiday cheer. After our families find the most picturesque Christmas tree, we rendezvous in the busy parking lot to secure our trees and tailgate with hot chocolate and candy canes. We’ll wrap it up after a few good stories and head out to lunch and then back to our respective homes.


This year, for the first time in forever, we did things differently.


We decided to mix it up and go later on in the afternoon to a different tree farm farther up the hill which supposedly had less expensive trees. Now, I was a bit apprehensive at first because it was a new place I knew nothing about and we were going later in the day. My first thought was “it’s going to be busy”, followed by “what happened to tradition?”. Every year we would always find the perfect tree in under twenty minutes, who knows how long it would take at this new place or if we would even find one we like. I kept an open mind about the change thinking maybe it won’t be as bad as I pictured and that a break from tradition might lead to something better.


When Friday arrived, it was raining fairly heavily and continued to do so throughout the entire day. As far back as I can remember, it had never rained that day to the point where we didn’t go get our tree. Sadly, we didn’t get our tree and decided to wait it out until the weather cleared up.


Come Sunday afternoon the skies were blue, the sun was out, and not a single drop of rain. We arrived to the new tree farm which was quite small and didn’t have much variety. After a half-hour of searching, we came up empty-handed as there was not a single tree that qualified to be placed in the living room. With no silver lining or silver tip in sight, we drove back to the one place we knew would have just what we were looking for.


At last, we were back at our traditional tree farm. It was late in the afternoon and we were just about the only ones there, which was remarkably unusual for such a popular destination this time of year. It was oddly quiet and warm but it allowed for a memorable time with family.


Twenty minutes. One perfect tree. Candy canes and hot chocolate.


There are few basic (but important) lessons to be learned here and I will leave you with them as we head into the weekend:

  1. There is value to tradition.
  2. The unknown is uneasy, but can be fruitful and offer new experiences.
  3. You get what you pay for.

 

Meagan

Today's Theme is Wellness :D

**Scientifically proven ways to fortify your immune system**:

  1. What you eat matters! Add seasonal foods to your diet. 'Research suggests that our gastrointestinal system might be the center of immunity. That means that maintaining a healthy gut flora is key to strengthening our immune system and helping to prevent the sniffles.' (I copied this from mindbodygreen... it's just such a great point)
  2. It's normal for our bodies to want rest earlier and longer. Melatonin is produced during the dark hours and stops upon optic exposure to daylight. #EnvironmentalQues #RestYoSelf
  3. When possible, get adequate sun exposure during the day because it helps you sleep better at night. The sunshine helps calibrate your body's internal “circadian” clock. (:
  4. Some Vitamin C sources: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, limes, lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, yummm.
  5. Laugh, connect, have fun! The holiday season can be a busy, chaotic and stressful time. Have fun and enjoy the rest of 2018 with the people who light up your life. 

<3 Megz

 

Kenny

Return the Favor

I went back home this weekend and had a wonderful time with my family. It's always nice when you get to go back home, relax, and just chill. However, that is rarely the case for me.

See, my mom is single and every time I go back home she has what I call a "Son-to-do List". This list can include getting boxes out of the attic, putting boxes in the attic, fixing the sprinklers, fixing the garbage disposal, caulking the bathroom tub, mounting her TV, and the list goes on and on.

When I first moved away after college I saw this as a burden and a chore when I just wanted to relax. But as I've matured, I see it as me just returning the favor.

For almost two decades she sacrificed so much to provide for me. The least I could do is make sure her "Son-to-do List" gets checked off as much as possible every time I go home.

So next time you return home ask your parents how you can help and return the favor. It's the least you can do.

Don't be like this meme...



keymaster

Kim - December 2018

Get'er Done
Congrats Kim! This is for all the above & beyond sacrifices you've made for SlideBelts.

  • 1. At which store are you most likely to max out your credit card?
    Target
  • 2. What was your favorite tv show growing up?
    Recess
  • 3. What is the strangest talent that you have?
    I can identify exotic bird species
  • 4. Any strange phobias?
    praying mantis, crickets and being trapped
  • 5. What's the biggest trait that you got from your parents/family?
    Mumbling