Growing up as an Episcopalian, we always put up our Christmas Tree about the first Sunday in Advent. Following the traditional English way, we celebrated 12 days of Christmas and took down the tree on Epiphany the 6th day of January. We opened presents after coming home from Midnight services, went to bed and then at the big family dinner with all the cousins opened MORE presents.
It seems increasingly that people put up their trees earlier and take them down immediately after Christmas Day. There is one neighbor of my mother-in-law's in Florida who put up exterior Christmas decoration about 9 am on Thanksgiving and by the end of Christmas Day the tree is out for the garbage man. It also seems that I hear of a present being given as early as October and being labeled as a "Christmas present".
I am wondering if the change in timing of putting up decorations has something to do with everyone working in the household and taking advantage of a day off. OR whether its because they love and are so caught up with the anticipation that they just can't wait for Christmas.
What do you think???
We get a real tree so we put it up around the 15th. We usually take it down on January 2nd.
If I don't work Thanksgiving Day that's when we put ours up. When I do work, we do it the day after. We got a new one this year, so I'm really extra excited. All our other trees have been cheapies that you could see the metal pole in the center. I spluged after saying every year that this would be the last year with a sad looking tree. We take ours down the day after New Years. I was ready after Halloween this year to decorate but I know that's too soon. 3 more days...
We put up our frankly fake fir tree around Dec. 15 and we take it down on January 6, more or less.
Growing we always had a fresh cut tree which we put up the morning of Dec. 24; it was taken down and discarded on January 6. I still remember the aroma...
Generally, I have to use my days off from work to decorate and un-decorate. I think that's one reason that a lot of people decorate over Thanksgiving weekend and take the decorations down on New Year's Day.
Growing up except for "bottle brush" trees and then aluminum ones trees (and greenery) were real.
With the onset of LOTS of fake greenery and trees, decorating became earlier and earlier because we COULD!!!!
As a child, Christmas decoration really started about mid December although a few trinkets (such as the creche and the pyramid) came out earlier. A wreath usually got hung on the door as well.
Then we added the tree and the greens on the mantles and the poinsettia.
It was a layering of decorating rather than doing everything all at once.
And it was taken down on 12th night day -- while we were in school. We left with Christmas up and came home to a barren house.
When I worked I would drive myself nuts to decorate the whole house on Thanksgiving weekend -- from attic to cellar (or almost) so that when I went to work (half dead) on the Monday after Thanksgiving, everyone was done and I could "enjoy" Christmas.
Now that I don't work and have time I find that I am enjoying a simpler and later Christmas decorating.
I do get out the creche and the pyramid (and sometimes the poinsettia because if you don't get them early there are none left) and put pinecones or something in the coffee table bowl.
Apples and nuts and potpourri and pomanders are in bowls around the house as well. (Not necessarily ALL of them at once but . . . )
And then we put up the tree -- when we have time and add real greens to the mantles.
And that's it.
We have a fake tree so it can go up earlier and I enjoy seeing it lit for I do love Christmas and the tree!
And I find that I like the simpler Christmas decorations. For they hold meaning to us.
And we still try to take it down around Epiphany although some years it has had to come down sooner because we were leaving and I didn't want to come home in mid to late January to Christmas decorations still up!
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I put up the outside decor on a nice weekend in Nov. so I can turn on the lights Thanksgiving night when my guests are leaving. I climb all over the roof, so I need it to be dry and it is much nicer to do that when it is good weather and not cold.
The inside decor starts the day after Thanksgiving. I have Thanksgiving decor that I take down Thanksgiving night.
I do it because I love it and since I use faux trees, I can have it up that long with no worries. I just love decorating for Christmas and everything else associated with the holidays, so I enjoy it for as long as I can.
I start taking it down Jan. 6 but it is a process, so takes a while, LOL.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone,
Oh...the fond memories of going to grandparent's farm with my Dad to cut a cedar tree. Think about the middle of Dec. or 10 days or so before the big day. It would come down after the first of year. Lights got limited as the tree dried out, even with constant watering.
With the use of faux trees, got earlier. One year, when ds was away at school, waited until he got home around the 23rd to decorate. Didn't do that again. He wasn't as interested in decorating then as when he was little.
Like getting it up in early Dec. now. As to when undecorated and put away, just depends. Aim for day after the 1st. Some year's ds#1 is still here, so wait until they leave and I recover.
It should be up to individuals to put up and take down as suits family. Maybe it depends on when family is there. Knew of one prominent family that had their tree up at Thanksgiving with all the gifts wrapped and under it. The family was all there that weekend, but didn't come at Christmas. Never knew if they opened gifts then, or took them to their homes to open on Christmas.
Interesting to hear what others do.
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I have always worked on Saturdays so,from the second Sunday in December to the Sunday after Epiphany.
Me too except I don't know when Advent is! (I am majorly lapsed)
In my childhood home the tree was put up the morning of the 24th and decorated after the children went to bed. I tried that custom too after I got married and found I was on my own doing the work so soon ditched it.
Unlike a lot of people, I burn out quickly on Xmas decorations. To me its kind of like eating a whole lot of cotton candy. I definitely prefer; real, simple, short time, I guess you might say dignified. Every year I tell this story on this board. When we lived in Brooklyn there was a convent nearby that had real wreathes on every window. No bows, no lights. That to me is a perfect Xmas decoration.
Tree and decor goes up sometime around Dec 10th and taken down the day after New Years Day.
I love putting it all up, but taking it down seems such a let-down. But the house does look nice but bare...
When we were in MI we always had a fresh tree which we cut down the weekend after Thanksgiving and took down on Jan 6. This year for the first time ever we decided to stay in FL for the holidays instead of making the trek back to MI for the holidays. In our excitement we went and bought an artificial tree, outside lights. They are all up and will be lit the day after Christmas.
You are not the only to feel this way, Emily. After awhile, I get sensory overload in an overly decorated home during the holidays. Especially all the stuff on the lawn. Who hasn't laughed hysterically at Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, in the Christmas Vacation movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...2MHpp00&feature=plcp
Everyone has their personal preferences, as to when to take it down too...as it should be.
I personally look at the stuff still up and lit after X-mas as not so attractive. Kind of like the turkey carcass after Thanks Giving? So as in the past, when and if we decorated, it tends to be early Dec, and I am ready for it down soon after the 25th as can be managed.
The date I put up the tree has varied over the years but it's now usually at the beginning of December. Will stay up at least until the beginning of January.
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
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Mine is some version of what others have said. Like Christmas Candy, I use nice weekends in Nov. to get the outside lights up, as I also scramble all over the roof (CC, you're the only other woman I've ever "met" who does that) so that they can be ready to turn on Dec. 1. Since I work, I do have a schedule that I have developed over the years to make it easier on myself. My schedule starts two weekends before Thanksgiving, when I spend one day of each of those weekends putting up the outside lights. Over Thanksgiving break I take down all my fall decorations and start putting up my Christmas decorations. Depending on what weekend TG falls on (it's early this year), I may or may not get the trees up that Sunday. This year, I plan to wait until the following weekend (first weekend in Dec.) to put up the trees. I try to have everything decorated by the first week in Dec. so I can enjoy it for a full month and turn my attention to other things. I am *definitely* ready to start taking it down the day after Christmas! And that also has to do with my work schedule, since I am off the week after Christmas, and I want to have the work all done before I go back.
I usually put my tree up the weekend of Thanksgiving and a few other vignettes the following week as time permits.
The older I get, the longer I leave them up! I sually leave them up a couple of weeks in January. I enjoy the peacefullness of the tree lights and the lights wrapped in my various garlands.
My philosophy is, enjoy it as long as I can since it is so much work.
we are always away for thanksgiving, so start the christmas decorating as soon as I get home-this year it will be tuesday. Have started some projects at home so hope to have mantel, stair garland, and collections done in a week. Will get a tree from tree lot then. I want to take it down a day or two after Christmas, but DH wants it up until Jan 2nd. usually it is too dry to turn on the lights by then. By then I usually try to re arrasnge some stuff in the house and shop for some new houseplants or acessories or art.
I don't have a specific time for putting up the tree, but never before Thanksgiving, and I always wait to take it down until Jan 6. Or the closest Saturday to that that is practical.
What is the significance of a pyramid at Christmas?
I don't think I've heard about that.
Lu, I'm Catholic and grew up with the tradition of 12 days of Christmas also. We always had a live tree (my parents in their 70s still do!) that was put up 7-10 days before Christmas then left up through Epiphany. Dh grew up with the same tradition so that is what we have continued with our own family. I personally don't like the rush to start with decorations at thanksgiving as I like to keep the two holidays separate as well as because I would be tired of the decor by the time Epiphany comes around, plus my tree would be dead if i had it that long. It sort of saddens me when people tear all their decor down the day after Christmas as if now that all the gift giving is finished, the celebration is over. Not the message I want to send my kids about Christmas. I do understand that time is a factor so I realize why people do it.
The only downfall for me waiting to put up outside decor is the weather. It was so mild here this week (60 degrees yesterday) that it would have been nice not to freeze while putting up our lights. I do all the decorating, inside and out. I don't put lights on the roof but have fresh garland that I drape from our first and second floor porches that I string with white lights and put red bows on all the porch pillars. Some years my hands are frozen when I'm done! This year my neighborhood is voting on outdoor decor on Dec 8 so I have to put my lights up early. Hoping the temps won't dip too low before that!
I am not Martha, but my curiosity got the better of me. I have seen these decorations many times before, but did not know what they were called: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_pyramid
ETA: If you visit the beautiful Hill Country Texas town of Fredericksburg, which was settled by Germans, you'll see an enormous Christmas pyramid in the central Marketplatz (marketplace)during the holidays. Awesome!This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
Aychi - my DD and I are going to the Fredericksburg holiday home tour next Sat. Are you going?
Yes, we have those here in Canada; I have never heard them called pyramids before!
I honsetly don't know what we call them!; but they are usually on a table so fairly small.
I always thought they were of Swedish origin and called something else other than pyramids.
Sorry to say, no. We have other plans that day. I know the holiday home tour will be awesome. Would you mind taking pictures, if allowed, and posting a show and tell on the boards. I'm positive we would all enjoy it. Have fun!
THanks for the link to the information about Christmas pyramids. I actually have one that MIL gave me several years ago after a trip to Germany. I had no idea that was what it was called. I just called it a spinning nativity. I made the mistake of lighting the candles one year, and I'm not sure if they were too tall or what, but they burned the underside of a few of the little propeller pieces so now I just leave it unlit.
We put our fake tree up on Thanksgiving night... Now we only have a fake tree because we bought it when the twins were almost one and wanting to use anything around them to pull themselves up and put everything in their mouths. We also bought plastic and fabric ornaments that year!
We still have the fake tree, (It's a pretty nice one), but we realize that it's time to get a real one again. The good thing about the non-real variety is we can put it up early and leave it up. My kids were just too excited to wait!
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