25 Days Of Grand Christmas

“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a road full of Christmas trees.”



One thing I love about Christmas? Nope, it’s not the receiving of gifts. Nope, it’s not about the delicious food either. I love Christmas because it’s full of unexpected, fun surprises!


Driving towards a relative’s house in Austin, we were greeted with colors of red, green, gold and everything festive.  Roads full of pine trees were adorned with Christmas decors and ornaments making the day’s spirit truly merry and bright.



I told my wife, “We have to stop. This is one family Christmas picture moment we shouldn’t miss.” She gave me a beautiful smile and said, “You didn’t have to ask. Hurry, go park the car safely first.”


I got no idea Austin had this Christmas road side tradition. The lady next to me said, “It’s been going on for 17 years. It started with one tree, then it just multiplied throughout the years.” All I can say was, “Oh, wow!” It somehow reminded me of the countless locks along the bridges in Paris. Only it’s seasonal and that other than wishing for love, one can wish for any blessing  the heart hopes to have.



One Christmas tree had a huge present in front of it. My son blurted excitedly, “Look a present!” Jokingly I told him, “For me?” He laughed and joked back, “No dad, it’s for me.” Before walking towards the next tree,we both agreed that the Christmas present was for everyone. We left it unscathed or shall I say, unwrapped to bring its holiday surprise and magic to the next traveler destined to find it.



Minions, reindeer and Gingerbread cookie family adorned one tree.


Another tree had Giant Bumble Bees made from empty soda plastic bottles with wings made of white ribbons.


Some trees, too naughty and needs to be skipped if you have a very curious kid next to you. I bet I’ll freeze for a second like Mr. Snowman if my son asked, “Dad, what’s that next to Santa?”



The most moving and meaningful tree was the “Pray and Pledge tree.” It was a tribute to all the little angels who lost their lives because of negligent and careless drivers. It makes us think a thousand times before we “Text while driving, ” “Drive under the influence, “Fighting and mad while driving,” or simply missing to check our kids if they’re safely buckled up, the door secured or no kids were left inside the car when we left it. Unimaginable? Sadly, it’s a painful reality to another parent who will never have the chance to spend another Christmas with their precious love ones.


We stayed by the tree for awhile reading heart-breaking  notes and letters from parents.


Whether it’s finding an unexpected  Christmas surprise during a road trip in December or opening the much-anticipated toy presents, Christmas is about sharing a beautiful, happy, loving unforgettable time with our families.


The holidays can be a stressful time as we have to crack our heads and our wallets on what to buy and give but when we think of all the good things and blessings we received, it is truly the best, happiest time of the year.

May we never forget to share a piece of the holiday cheer and comfort for those who may never know what Christmas means this year because of calamities, tragedies and loss. A grand Christmas is a Christmas from the heart that freely gives generously and becomes a symbol of hope for others who lost it. May this year, we all be a symbol of hope and a bearer of joy for the holidays.

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy, grand New Year!

Now, it’s your turn to sing and fill in the blanks, “On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me…”

About these ads

About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in 31 Days Of Christmas, family, Inspiration, kids, Life, Love, parenting, photography, Travels, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to 25 Days Of Grand Christmas

  1. misswhiplash says:

    On the second day of Chritmas my true love sent to me….two tiny puppies who had no home and needed me…

    • Oh, my friend, sweetest lyrics ever. You just gave these little angel puppies a home full of love and joy. Christmas is about hope and giving. Your home definitely has tons of Christmas spirit and cheer. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. likeitiz says:

    Such a novel way to celebrate the tradition of the tree!

  3. Lovely post and Christmas Tree celebration,

  4. What a great idea! I bet you’re going to make this part of your Christmas tradition every year now.

  5. genkiduck says:

    I love Christmas trees, what great fun! Sadly my Christmas tree for the last few years in Japan has been tiny and fake… but I still love it!

    • That’s okay. It’s not about how big or fancy the tree is but more importantly of the pureness and generosity of hearts that surrounds it. Oh, we do have a fake plastic tree at home too and we got it during a post Christmas clearance last year.

  6. I love it! I want to start this in my city. :)

    • That was the first that hit my head too but highway in Houston have Oak trees instead of pine trees. It’s a great family Christmas tradition to share and enjoy through the years. Thanks.

  7. Mélanie says:

    Mabuhay and huge like, Mr IT… :-) Long story, short: the generous spirit should exist all year long, not only before X-mas… ;-) My very best and friendly greetings, Mélanie

  8. A grand roadside tradition that I have never heard of, but love. Thank you for sharing it. Merry Christmas and a grand New Year to you and your family, too!

    • Thanks Naomi. Merry Christmas and a grand , adventurous New Year to you and your wonderful family. It was an exciting surprise on our way to our relative’s place. Perhaps when we come back, we’ll adopt one tree and pay a tribute for the many who may not know what Christmas is because of tragedies. Just to remind people that Christmas is about giving a piece of hope and comfort for others too.

  9. Praveena says:

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas celebrations since majority of people are Hindus.Merry Christmas to you and your family !!!Looking forward to your Christmas posts !!!

    • Happy Holidays my friend. Regardless of our religion and cultural traditions, December is a time of celebrating the holidays with family and friends. Of being thankful , of giving and loving , of being away from the craziness of life and just be joyful. Thanks.

  10. sandraconner says:

    This is such a beautiful post, Island Traveler. I LOVE Christmas trees! And the points you share are so important. We truly do need to be the Christmas spirit for others. That will make our own celebration more joyous and memorable.

    I often actually do celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas — not the way the song describes — more the way it was intended to be as a Christian holiday. Since it begins on December 25 and goes through January 5, it gives me an opportunity to spread Christmas cheer and gifts for another 12 days after most people are thinking about packing things away. It’s especially nice to bring “extra” Christmas joy to people who tend to get depressed once Christmas — as they know it — is over. I choose 12 different people to give a gift to, and each day of the 12, I take one of them a gift and a card with a scripture verse that God quickened to me for them specifically. It also makes my Christmas last longer.

    Thank you for sharing this experience of the road full of Christmas trees, and Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family! Thank you.

    • I love the 12 Days of extra Christmas. I will start doing this too. My family and I keep out Christmas tree till January. At one point we wanted our tree to be an all year evergreen tree and adorn it homemade decors based on the monthly holidays of the year. Giving, loving and sharing needs to be spread to all everyday, 365 days. God bless and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  11. Amy says:

    That is a beautiful and creative idea to celebrate Christmas! I love the spirit of Christmas too! Thanks for sharing, IT :) Merry Christmas! Hope to see you again before Christmas.

  12. bebs1 says:

    That is a nice tradition Austin has. I wish most people would just stop like you did instead of gawking causing traffic and accidents. I do love Christmas and it is my favorite holiday. It is the season that reminds us to be good Christians in every sense, forgiving and giving. It should be everyday but many of us needs reminding.

    • Thanks Bebs. Christmas time make us reflect on what’s real and meaningful. It’s about giving second chances, love and yes, forgiveness. Merry Christmas to you and your love ones.

  13. What an awesome sight, and time spent with your family. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Darla. It was. We will spend a post Christmas there again. Maybe this time I will adopt a tree too for ShelteBox and Typhoon Haiyan victims. Christmas is about giving, more so on those who really need our help. Happy Holidays and best of blessings to you and your family.

  14. Imelda says:

    What a Christmas scenic route. Merry Christmas to you and your family, IT. :-)

    • Thanks Imelda. A unique, exciting route. Just like the many unexpected happy routes of life, right? A joyful Christmas and a bountiful New Year to you and your family.

  15. What a pleasant surprise, Island Traveler, the signs of Christmas all around you and it was not even planed or expected. Christmas is a time of Love but also of fun, look at the eyes of a child when they see their gifts waiting to be opened and the joy in their Parents eyes as they wait for them to open them or your sons eyes and yours as you drove along that road of Christmas trees.

    But yes for some it is a time of sadness as they remember lost Loved ones or they are alone and unwanted. But how wonderful as Christians we see the real Joy of Christmas in our hearts and it never fades during the year.

    I’m having such a wonderful Christmas, Island Traveler, visiting the elderly in a Nursing Home, some have Dementia and only know me the day I visit but others remember me and my Power points, which take them outside their four walls , yes there is sadness too as some never see their families but mostly they don’t complain, they greet me with a smile and leave me with a smile.

    Christmas Love and Joy right through the year dear friend, for you and your family, from both of us – Anne

    • Thank you again for the pingbacks Island Traveler, I have come to value you as a very kind man and consider your encouragement and support over the years as a gift from your heart, may you always know that I value our friendship, will we always agree, I hope one day we will but regardless we agree that Jesus Christ in our hearts is the most important and valuable gift we can have…. How good is that!

      Christmas Love from both of us – Anne

    • That is truly what a pure Christmas is all about Anne, giving from the heart, of remembering and bringing joy to the forgotten. People can get so tied up with the holiday shopping and other material stuff that we can easily miss it’s real meaning. Visiting the Nursing home, bringing holiday cheer and hope to those needed them the most shines like the brightest of stars. God works through his angels such as you my friend. Merry Christmas full of blessings to you and your family.

  16. What a lovely tradition. I’m so glad you were able to take the time to enjoy the display.

    • Thanks Renee. Sometimes we are only given one chance to seize a moment and make it a forever. So, I stopped, jumped out of the car and the rest, a Christmas family miracle of sorts.

  17. Gracie says:

    What an excellent find, island traveler. A very nice tradition which I hope will continue on for many more years to come.

  18. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What an amazing find! I’d like to wish you and your lovely family a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014 my friend :-)

  19. cocomino says:

    Happy Chiristmas. It’s really fun to cerebrate it. :D

  20. Santa’s elves were very busy with those trees. The bees are the best! Bitter sweet post. We are lucky, aren’t we, IT? One the second day of Christmas – ah – I don’t really need anything, thanks. ;-)

    • You have a pure contented heart my friend. Same with me,” I don’t need anything material too.” All I could ever want is right in front of me everyday, my family. God bless and best of holiday blessings to you and your love ones.

  21. May your family and you enjoy the rituals and traditions of the wintery holidays, just as your post says. Lovely the way you wove the images with the spirit of this season.

  22. Sun says:

    you always find the neatest things along your journey – i love this idea of a community tree decorating tradition. do they take them down after the season? really neat. wishing you a warm holiday season. ♥

    • Thanks Sun. I think they do take away after Christmas. But we can always treasure them to a forever in our hearts and memory. Oh, and through pictures and blogging too. Happy Holidays my friend.

  23. Great post. :)
    I think you highlighted what this and other holidays should be about.
    An opportunity to pause, take a Selah moment and enjoy our time away from the hustle with our family and friends.
    And sadly it should be a time for many of us to be thankful for the connections and people we do have in our lives, especially when many tragically lose loved ones.

    It has been a while but I’m glad I made some time to pass by…thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend. :)

  24. What a great idea and tradition. Your photos show the true spirit of Christmas, and you definitely couldn’t pass these gorgeous trees by without stopping for a while. The ‘Pray and Pledge’ tree is so moving. I feel so sad for those families who have lost their precious little ones. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience, IT. Wishing you and your family a wonderfully blessed Christmas. :)

    • When I saw the “Pray and Pledge” tree I instantly remembered the more than 6,000 deaths and thousands of the grieving families in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan. I felt a whisper in my heart that said,” please don’t forget about us.” My next post will be about them and how I can help, we can help for the holidays and in 2014. Something we all can do, share not just for Typhoon Haiyan victims but for everyone suffering in our world. It is after all a time of peace, joy and love for everyone. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  25. Tammy says:

    Love those photos and love setting up Christmas traditions.

  26. That is so fun! Last year I went out into our walking trail and decorated a little tree for passersby. I haven’t done it yet this year. I hope to soon.

    • That would be cool and fun. Bringing the Christmas joy to as many people, more so to strangers who may really need some piece of hope and cheering is one gift and tradition we all can do and share. Happy Holidays and a grand New Year. Thanks.

  27. MythRider says:

    I love this. Mind if I reblog it to all to see?

    • That would great! Thanks for spreading the holiday cheer. Happy holidays and an exciting New Year to you and your family.

      • MythRider says:

        I’m thinking of signing off for a holiday break and posting your trees as my last post of the years, which will be next weekend. So thanks for letting me use your post.
        I know you will have a great Christmas and New Year.

  28. gabimili says:

    I have an award nomination for you: Dragon Loyalty Award! You can view your nomination: HERE Congratulations.

  29. What a lovely place, IT. Wonderful, but also sad representations of life. Pawkisses for a Happy Sunday :)

    • Kind of what life is for all of us in 2013. Worse for some, better for others. Nevertheless being here, alive and still kicking is one reason robe thankful and festive. Happy Holidays to you and your family. Have a Pawreffic December my friend.

  30. ChgoJohn says:

    I recently read a post about those trees in Austin. Nice to see them from the perspective of someone who saw them with his family. How wonderful that you just stumbled upon it. It’s a beautiful custom and says much of that community. I’m glad you guys took time to stop and smell the fir trees. :) I hope your Christmas is blessed with happy times and memories.

  31. You have been nominated for the Blog of the Year Award, my furriend :) Pawkisses :)

  32. A beautiful, touching post, Island Traveler. What a lovely tradition – all those gorgeous decked out trees. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  33. This is just amazing! The christmas spirit is one of the best things with Christmas, we are all connected and rejoice as one big family :) Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho

  34. tchistorygal says:

    What a thoughtful and interesting post. This sure puts me in the mood for Christmas, and makes me thankful for the blessings of life. God bless.

  35. Brilliant move to stop and enjoy this lovely Christmas treat with family! A blessed Christmas and blissful New Year to you and family!

  36. rommel says:

    What a really cool tradition! It’s symbolic of trust within the community.

  37. restlessjo says:

    Christmas surprises! I love the delight you take in life, Mr. B, and your gratitude for whatever you have. And you never allow us to forget those less fortunate. Have a blessed and joyful Christmas season. Hugs for you and your family :)

  38. Pingback: 25 Days Of Grand Christmas | Home that We Built

  39. MythRider says:

    Reblogged this on MythRider and commented:
    HI all, I’m taking a holiday break and will be back on January 1, 2014. I leave you with some grand Christmas tree photos by This Man’s Journey. Hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  40. naomimgruer says:

    What a nice surprise and so fun! Another great memory to add to your family album.

  41. Sartenada says:

    What a lovely Christmas praise. To me it was refreshing to see Christmas things in warm.

  42. I never knew of this wonderful tradition! Thanks for sharing it and Merry Christmas to your family!

Comments are closed.