When people talk about the holidays, they often reference traditions: decorating the tree, baking cookies, and meals with loved ones.  Secretly wanting to be one of those families with a cool and unique tradition, I always check out the over-the-top holiday tradition lists on Pinterest.  They are usually elaborate or expensive like 24 Christmas stories- one for each night in December.  Reality: books are expensive, and how do you store 24 books the other 11 months, and do you have to buy 24 new books next year?  I get it.  Sounds fun.  But, not for me.  And then I realized, we do have a tradition and it may not be unique, but my kids think it’s pretty cool and isn’t that the point anyway?


Every year we head over to Manza Family Farm to pick our tree.  They have it set up as a country Christmas on the farm complete with reindeer, Santa, and a horse drawn buggy ride.  They also have a wooden train that kids can play on which is when I realized this was our tradition.  We have a picture of Madison playing on that very same train every Christmas since she could walk.  Every year she refuses to sit on that same Santa’s lap and every year I have to explain why the reindeer can’t fly right  now.  Then, we walk the same rows of trees, pick the most stunning tree we have ever seen and head home to decorate that tree.  It is simple, and it is magical.


To visit Manza’s country Christmas is free including seeing the menagerie, playing on the wooden train, and sitting on Santa’s lap .  There is always the option to buy a tree or any other Christmas greenery, and if you do, the buggy ride is free for one (otherwise it’s $5 over 3 years of age).   In addition, there are pony rides for $5, hot chocolate, fresh baked pastries- the apple cider donuts are a must for us, and ornaments are available for purchase.


While not a Pinterest worthy tradition, it is a simple tradition which is just our style anyway.