Wonder of Christmas: The Family Tree
Editorial note: At Wonder Voyage, wonder is at the heart of everything we do. That focus doesn’t change during the holidays. This Christmas, we are celebrating wonder by sharing some stories and traditions of the holiday season.
Traditions are extremely important in my family. The memories we generate form a unique language that creates strong family bonds. The majority of our traditions are centered on the holidays. While most of the world is fighting through Black Friday crowds, our family spends that day driving away from the hubbub of the city.
For the last twenty-five years, the Jankes have spent the day after Thanksgiving at a Christmas tree farm. When our children were little, our time was spent on hayrides, petting zoos, and an elaborate game of hide-and-seek through the rows of trees. Once we are all laughing from exhaustion, we get down to the business of choosing the perfect tree. Over the years we have created an elaborate algorithm that dictates who gets to have the final word on which tree is chosen. The highlight for the kids is lying on the ground opposite me, holding their end of the saw, and straining their muscles until the tree falls.
Now, dragging our tree behind us, we go back to the lodge, have some hot apple cider, and take a ton of pictures. The memories we capture are an important part of the whole experience. With the tree on the top of our car, we make the journey home. The rest of the evening is spent getting the tree in the stand, putting the lights and ornaments on, while blaring Christmas music. We have boxes and boxes of decorations that also get put up all around the house. Every ornament, snow globe, and stocking speaks to us of memories of Christmas pasts and the wonder-filled moments that they hold. As the house is transformed, so are we.
Ken brings his 25+ years of business and pastoral experience to the Wonder Voyage team. His passion is missions, leadership development, and team-based ministry. He serves to steward the dreams of individuals and organizations. Ken is both a Voyage Director and a long-standing board member.