As I sit here with my glass of 2006 Kunde Estate Chardonnay and smell the aroma of pine from the Christmas tree we cut down today, I am starting to reflect. (oh no..)

Thanksgiving use to be a great time of favorite. Thanksgiving day my entire family would gather at my moms and have dinner. It was really the only time we ever all got together as a family. That all ended three years ago when my 95 year old Grandmother was admitted to a nursing home and passed away the following year.

Then traditionally the Saturday after Thanksgiving we gathered with friends – about 20 – 25 of us and ventured to Red Hook, New York..Battenfeld’s Tree Farm to cut down our tree. We have been doing this for about 18 years. We would start out tailgating at 9:30am and after we all cut our tree down, we ventured to this small diner just after the hunters left. As the years passed, we lost some people due to divorce and unfortunately one passed on at an early age of 35 (12 years ago). But the core of us carried on tradition.

Last year the tradition started to fall apart…one of the principal organizers of this event was stricken with a brain tumor at the age of 45. (she has since survived and battled a reoccurance) We carried on in their absence, our party now of 8. We weren’t to happy, since we both have center halls in which we put our trees, and the trees weren’t that tall. We weren’t sure if we were going to continue with visiting the place that brought us all together. This year our friend was going to join us, so we decided to go back. Unfortunately due to a new cancer (lung) she decided to sit this year out. The party of 8 decided to carry on tradition and headed to Battenfelds. After an hour and a half of looking and treking, with great disappointment for that one tall tree, both families settled on smaller ones.

The tradition will continue in the coming years, however, I believe we will be in search for a new farm with taller trees.