1. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    When do you let the tree in?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Okon, Nov 24, 2013.

    I usually put up my Christmas tree a week before the day, but some people have been telling me that they get that green thing in their living room as early as Dec 1st:eek:. I thinking about going early this year, but I'm a little worried about the lifespan of the thing.

    About what time do you writer people dig out a tree from the forest/treetailor/attic?

    (This question is not at all intended to offend those who do not practice the tradition or holiday.)
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    When they mark the prices down, usually a few days before Christmas. :D
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I was a kid, we usually put it up mid-December. We have a fake tree, now, and I am the only one who does all of the work to put it up and decorate it. (My kids now are starting to "help," but really, they slow things down.) So, since it takes so much work to put it up, I figure I may as well enjoy it as long as possible (without getting ridiculous). So I put it up the first weekend in December. It may very well go up on December 1 this year.

    Also, as far as the real trees, at many of the tree lots, the trees are already cut, so it doesn't really matter if you put it up the first or third weekend. The trees often any fresher. Obviously, if you cut your own, the tree is fresher the longer you wait.
     
  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I don't buy a tree.

    I get a small potted pine tree (Like 2-3 feet high at most) and one for everyone else.
    We decorate it and put presents underneath.

    Once Christmas is over, we go out and plant them if possible.
     
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  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I always have a real tree. When I was little, my dad used to cut it from a piece of land we owned. He cut it a week before Christmas, it stayed out in our yard in a bucket of water till the 23rd, when it was brought into the house and put in its stand, to 'drip.' Early on Christmas Eve, my dad would put the lights on it ...a big event. Then, after we went to bed, my mom and dad would trim the tree, with all our glass ornaments, etc. Us kids never saw the tree trimmed till Christmas morning. It was a fantastic tradition. The dang thing used to stay fresh almost all the way through January, and really brightened up our home during the winter.

    Of course that was an INCREDIBLY fresh tree. Now that I live in Scotland, I'm forced to buy trees sight unseen and get them delivered to the house, as we don't live anywhere near a tree farm. I've found a good supplier, but I try to make sure the trees aren't cut till about a week before delivery. They usually bring them around the 15th. I keep them in water in the back garden till around the 21st, when I bring them in. I let them sit for a day or so, then I light and trim them with MY collection of old-fashioned glass ornaments (mainly from Germany, Czech Republic and Russia.)

    Getting them trimmed around the 21st and 22nd gives me a breathing space, so I'm not trying to do everything at the last minute. However, I don't turn the lights on till Christmas Eve. I still like it to be special.

    Unfortunately these 'bought' trees have little or no scent, and don't last much past New Year.

    However, I can't imagine having an artificial tree. It just destroys the symbolism. Not only that ...if you put it up around the first of December, aren't you sick of looking at it by Christmas time? I know people with artificial trees who take them down BEFORE New Year. That destroys the holiday period, doesn't it. However, I can understand the impulse, if you're sick of the dang thing and want your space back.

    Horses for courses, I guess. All I'd say is buy your tree from a reputable firm, make sure it's as fresh as possible, keep it outdoors in water till the last minute, and make sure it's well-watered indoors. And enjoy! Make time to sit in front of it, all other lights off, meditating while staring through it's branches. Maybe listening to lovely music, drinking something nice? That's the high point of my year, really. Love it.
     
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  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did really like the fresh trees, but I always like a tree that is as tall as we can possibly get. Our house now has a very high ceiling in the family room, so I was getting a tree that was as tall as we could find. Well, one year, my tree fell over. Like you, @jannert , I have a lot of glass ornaments that I really love. When the tree fell over, only a couple ornaments broke, so I was very lucky.

    My husband, who never had a tree until he started living with me, has always hated it. Although he refuses to decorate, he was always involved in acquiring the tree and in getting it into the stand (and the stands we had were always crappy -- every year we'd end up with a new one, believing that yes, *this* year, we finally have a good stand and will never have to buy another. Also, he had a slight allergy to the tree, so his arms always ended up all red with a rash.

    So, when the tree fell over he was so mad, he chopped it up and proclaimed that that very year we were getting a fake one. We ordered one and it arrived a few days later.

    I love having the tree up, so I don't get sick of looking at it. I usually take it down the weekend after New Year's Day.
     
  7. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Mom and I put our fake tree up yesterday. Dad usually gets a real tree, but he's thinking of getting a fake one because of the cat.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    O...kay ...That's a story I can buy. He chopped it up! Yikes...
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I won't kill a tree in celebration.

    On the other hand, I'm not a Christian. But despite its historical roots, I can't really call Christmas a Christian holiday in modern times.Instead of worrying about what to call it without offending anyone, I accept that the holiday means different things to different people.
     
  10. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    We'd always get it the 1st or 2nd weekend in December. I loved the couple of times we were able to go cut our own, because the smell really is amazing and helps set the mood.
    I love the tradition of not lighting it until Christmas Eve, as it makes for a beautiful tradition (I can't wait until I have kids!). I also love the idea of buying a potted one and then planting it, but for that... I need my own land.

    That being said... where's the eggnog?!
     
  11. Writay
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    Writay New Member

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    I'm surprised at how early the trees are brought in.
    We bring it in on the 23rd, some here don't bring it in until the 24th.

    Other decorations go up all through December.
     
  12. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    My birthday is the first of January, so we like to have it up on the first Saturday of December. We've had a real tree once or twice, but it just makes too much mess. Instead, we've got a fake tree that looks exactly like a real one - not one of those tacky ones that claim to be realistic-looking.

    But I am a Christian, and trees are not at all important to the faith. They just look nice. :D
     
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  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm surprised at how late trees go up among the members of this forum. I'm actually among the later tree decorators in my area and in my circle of friends. Many folks seem to put them up the day after Thanksgiving -- some even before. And a lot of people put out their outdoor lights last weekend because it was warm.

    This is what I had always thought was the most common philosophy about Christmas trees, although last year my neighbor posted a somewhat surprising rant on Facebook. She went on and on about how Christmas is a Christian holiday, and therefore so is everything about it. And if you don't fully embrace Christianity then you should not invite Santa into your home, have a Christmas tree, put up any decorations, or celebrate in any way. I was a bit taken aback, since most of what I had seen from a Christian perspective, was that these secular things should be eschewed, since they actually had nothing to do with the holiday, and take away from the intent of the holiday, which was to celebrate Jesus.

    I am not a Christian, but I love Christmas. I love all of its secular aspects. I love the parties and the lights. I love the decorated trees, and Santa.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Christmas trees probably come from the pagan winter solstice celebrations used to conceal the Christian celebration. Christians at the time were hunted, and slaughtered when discovered, which is why they disguised their celebrations.

    That was before the Church itself became powerful and committed its own atrocities. (Religions and their institutions are not the same thing - I'm not trashing the faith).
     
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  15. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's having a Christmas tree fall, then there's having a Christmas tree fall ON you. I've had first hand experience of the latter:D.
     
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  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not Christian, but I love Christmas. We always had a real tree (my dad was a purist about those things), and always the biggest that would fit in the living room. We never had a proper, store-bought stand - one of our standard Christmas rituals each year was me and Dad building a stand for the tree. When I got old enough to call the shots, we started having the biggest, most over-designed, over-built stands ever, and our tree NEVER fell over. King Kong could have climbed our tree and it would have stood up.

    My parents are both dead now, and my sister lives thousands of miles away, so I don't get to do the Christmas thing much anymore. I miss it.
     
  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    We (my dad to be more precise) bring the tree in about 1.5 weeks before Christmas. That's just the way it's always been in my family.
     
  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That's kind of sad. Why don't you give it a go? Put up a tree (the stands are MUCH better nowadays), do what you can to decorate it, invite a friend or friends around to share it? If worse come to worse (if it won't make you excessively morose about past times) you could just sit in front of it all by yourself and enjoy its beauty.

    I think Christmas family traditions do inevitably change, but it's one of my 'rules' that I will enjoy Christmas, whatever else happens. I don't do it to somebody else's rules, but to my own (and my husband's.) I've even spent it on my own a couple of times (due to bad driving weather) and enjoyed these Christmases as well.

    I think especially if you life in the north of the northern hemisphere, where daylight is sparse in mid-December, this midwinter (pagan) festival is a necessity to keep spirits up. I can't imagine just letting it go by, although like yourself, @Cogito and others, I'm not Christian. Cogito is quite right, that the pagan symbols of Christmas were deliberately co-opted by the early church to allow them to incorporate local beliefs into the Christian religion—even to the extent of skewing the likely time of Jesus's birth, which records of other events connected to the Bible story point to having been in September. There is excessive documentation of this co-option practice, including church records themselves, and it's not in dispute.

    In fact, things like the Christmas Tree, holly and ivy, the 'fire ceremonies' including candles and yule logs, solstice celebrations etc have nothing whatever to do with the Christian end of this story. (So much for 'the real meaning of Christmas.) The fact that they've melded together over the centuries is fine, but it also means that us non-Christians have many reasons to celebrate the season too.

    Probably what is not common to either belief is the excessive commercialisation of the season. That, I reject.
     
  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Okon - oh gosh, you had a tree fall ON you!? Were you all right!?

    @chicagoliz - I'd be taken aback by that friend of yours about embracing Christmas too. But really, I don't get people who get so angry about it. I'm a Christian, but come on, can't we just let people have fun and enjoy it? There's nothing wrong with trees and Santa and presents, even if none of it has anything to do with the real meaning of Christmas. It's something fun, something pleasant, laugh a little and just enjoy it!

    My colleague at work is moaning about Christmas already. Almost every time I see her, she heaves this great big sigh and says, "Ah it's Christmas again! Oh no, oh noooo, not Christmas songs already!!! Nooo." And she gets all high pitched and then moans about how Christmas has been commercialised and nooo noooo nooooo Christmas ads can't be ON already!?

    I get that it's sad it's commercialised, I get that Christmas isn't a great time for everyone. But seriously, does she have to MOAN so much!? It's frigging Christmas songs. Just... have some fun. She's actually a pretty sad woman (I don't mean pathetic, I mean that she's unhappy in life) and I can't help but wonder if she wouldn't be happier if only she'd enjoy things a little more.

    Anyway, to the question - I have a fake one and I'd probably put one up at the start of Christmas. I'm not too sure. Last year was the first time I ever had my own tree and my own ornaments, because it was the first year I didn't spend Christmas with my parents (spent it with the in-laws). Being Chinese, we've never had a real tree anyway, though sometimes I think I'd like one. There's not much of a Christmas tradition in my family. I keep wanting to create my own traditions, but we have no children, and I'm too lazy to do it just for myself, and my husband doesn't care about traditions - he thinks everything is pointless... :rolleyes: He often tells me how life is transient and everything will fade to meaninglessness in the end, upon which I tell him, "It's okay to have fun, you know." Then he'd laugh and grin looking all guilty lol.
     
  20. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've often thought about how bleak this time of year would be without all the festive lights and celebrations. It must be unpleasant for our friends in the Southern hemisphere, who don't have this festivity surrounding their winter solstice.

    As far as the pagan roots of the holiday -- with respect to my neighbor I knew there'd be no point in even bringing that up. From what I've read, almost all Northern civilizations had some sort of festivities around the winter solstice, whether they were pagan in nature or not. It was the end of the harvest season, it was dark, the days were dark and short, but were starting once again to get longer.

    For a while, even the Catholic Church had banned the celebration of Christmas and was very much against it. When they realized they were fighting a losing battle, they accepted it and made the holiday their own.
     
  21. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why on earth would the Catholic Church battle the celebration of Christmas!? :eek:
     
  22. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually in Britain it was the Protestant churches during the time of the Reformation that banned Christmas, because it smacked of "Popery." This was NOT popular, and many people continued to celebrate traditions covertly (despite some pretty draconian punishments if they were caught doing this). They did keep many of the traditions alive until the Reformation loosened up and got real. But many old traditions fell by the wayside as well, especially the ones involving public (as opposed to home) celebrations.

    Puritanical protestantism clung on longer and more strongly in non-Catholic parts of Scotland, which is why Christmas traditions in Scotland are rather new, and why folks here have so eagerly embraced the more commercial ones imported from the USA. They don't really have many of their own.

    Modern Scottish homes tend to have trees that are all decorated in one or two themed colours, and the ornaments get completely changed every couple of years or so. My theory is that their idea of a Christmas tree comes from what they see in shop windows, and not from a longstanding family tradition as it is in most of England and in the USA. When I first arrived here, I was shocked that my husband's Catholic family did not ever have a tree at all. Just a creche and a few tatty bits of tinsel draped around ...and they were not impoverished, by any means. That first Christmas I spent here was very VERY weird.

    Many elderly people in Scotland today remember when Christmas wasn't even a holiday at all—everybody worked as usual—and the winter holiday was New Year. Now we have both. Yay!
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would let the tree in sooner, but you know how trees are. You let them in and then they just want right back out again. What they really want is for the door to just be left open. Silly trees. ;)
     
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  24. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It was hundreds and hundreds of years ago. I remember seeing it on a documentary that the History Channel runs during the season. They felt it took focus away from the true teachings of Jesus and everything that the Church encouraged.

    So many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas are only a couple hundred years old or less. The only aspect that seems to have always dominated is that of feasting on food.
     
  25. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got tangled up in the lights and gouged by lots of needles, especially in my face. It was... twelve(?) years ago, so I was five at the time. I was helping my mother move the tree across the room, because we had decided it would look better there (post decoration, mind you). We lost control of it and I just froze, watching it fall towards me. I was very slow acting when I was younger; if I dropped an open carton of juice on the floor, I'd just stand there for a minute watching the mess get worse and worse.

    Traumatic experience aside, I still love Christmas. Especially 'commercial' Christmas:).
     

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