Like most Americans, one of our favorite things to do with our family is pick out our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s a little different living in southern California, so going to the beach first is truly the norm.


Luckily for me, picking the perfect Christmas tree is something my husband equally enjoys. You see, when I grew up in NYC my grandmother had the smallest tree. As much as I wanted a big one, Charlie Brown was all we got. Despite the size, I loved that Charlie Brown tree. All of my childhood handmade ornaments adorned the little tree, accompanied with colored mini lights.  I think it was three feet tall to be exact.

My grandmother gave me that tree with plenty of other hand me downs when I got my first apartment in New York City. However, when I moved in with Bobby and we spent our first Christmas together, he looked at my Charlie Brown tree and asked me, “What in the world is that?”  From that moment on, “the bigger the better” was our motto when it came to Christmas trees.  Don’t worry I still have my little tree, this year it will be in Roman’s room.


Tree hunting has been quite the adventure for our little gang of three.  Finding the perfect tree is truly a tradition for most parents.  Now that we have FINALLY planted roots in San Diego, we found the perfect tree-stop to get that Rockefeller Center Tree-Lighting-Ceremony feel.  (Yes I will compare everything to my hometown, NY) The Pinery, located in Del Mar, is filled with every size imaginable.


Besides the behemoth trees they have available, they also have Mrs. Claus working the register. My daughter Dylan was amazed that she came all the way here to work at this tree farm. Mrs. Claus explained to Dylan that Mr. Claus needed her to help sell the trees this year. It was the sweetest thing watching the sparkle in my girls eyes.


We found the perfect tree in the Noble Fir, the “Cadillac” of all Christmas trees. This is a popular choice, and my favorite pick, because it retains water a lot longer than the Douglas and the Grand Fir.  Even though my Charlie Brown tree symbolizes where I come from, it will also serve for many memories with my little ones.  I love telling them the stories when we sit around unpacking all of our Christmas boxes.  They too get a kick out of seeing mommy and daddy’s hand made ornaments.  Something tells me these little monkeys might fight for the Charlie Brown Tree.  I may have to find a neutral ground space for it.

It was quite funny seeing this huge tree on top of my not-so-hot minivan, but we made it home.  It took my husband and our neighbors to get it into our house, but once it stood up we all sighed “aww” simultaneously.



This is by far one of my favorite days with my family. It’s all about putting up the ornaments, making hot chocolate, reading “The Elf on a Shelf,” and simply creating memories like my grandmother did for me.

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As much as I love creating these memories for my kids, I still long for and miss my NY family. Last year I was able to go to NYC for Christmas. When my Italian family gets together we have the best time. Here is one of the several videos we made while enjoying the holidays together. I will post a few more this week to start the holiday season off right.  Tell me what memories are you creating for your family. I would love to hear from you! 🙂

I married a Griswald!


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