There is a tradition in Austin that has been going on for several years, and my family has been taking part in it for 2 years now. Loop 360, one of Austin's highways, is lined by many, many cedar trees. Several years ago, these trees started to wake up in the morning decorated with tinsel, and garland, and ornaments, and all sorts of shiny things! Nobody, not even the trees, knew who was coming in the dead of night to festoon them with Christmas cheer, but one thing was clear: This was something very Austin-y, and it should be encouraged!
So, last year my family picked out a tree to decorate, and my parents, Ryan, and I made ourselves a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree on 360. This year, our troupe of decorators grew! Ryan was sick, so he had to stay home this year (so sad!), but Aunt Susan, Brad, and Will came out with us to Keep Austin Weird in this fantastically Christmas-y way! AND, we can't forget that oh-so-adorable addition to our 360 tradition! Eli was there, too! Although, you might want to tell him that. He slept through the Highway tree decorating in my homemade ring sling! There IS such a thing as being TOO comfortable!!
My mom shops the after-Christmas sales for cheap decorations specifically with our 360 tree in mind! Each year, our box of decorations grows exponentially!
Thankfully this year, we found a tree up on a hill to decorate! Sometimes you have to risk life and limb while decorating a tree very close to the speeding cars!
Some very brave souls even go up on the cliffs that intermittently line the highway and decorate cedar trees up there! There is no way that this momma and these old fogies were going to be hiking up any cliffs, though!
We were very lucky to have brought along Brad this year! He helped us reach the very tip top of our tree! Without him, our tree would have looked a little silly. It would have only been covered with decorations until about 4 feet from the top!
Personally, I think our tree was a masterpiece!
Here is the view of our tree and our crew from the shoulder of the highway!
A week or so later, another tree joined our little tree on its hill, and a week after that, there were three decorated trees all in a row!
We will go back and un-decorate our roadside masterpiece after New Year's and pack away our stuff for next year's Keep Austin Christmas-y tree!
After our decorating, we all met up again at the capitol building for a Christmas Carol sing-a-long and the lighting of the capitol Christmas tree!
We had a great time singing all of these beloved carols, but, unfortunately, most of the people around us didn't seem to understand the point of the evening. It was hard to hear the music and the choir because the people surrounding us were chatting away! I thought that this was rude, since the point of the evening was a sing-a-long, so I just stood directly behind them and sang very loudly into their conversation. They didn't move, or stop talking, but it made me feel better.
We had a lot of fun making a new tradition. (You may see a trend here, folks! My family is ALLL about tradition!) Hopefully next year, we will have singers near us instead of chatty hipsters.