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When does your Christmas tree go up?

Christmas tree

I’m pleased to say I’ve welcomed December with open arms – stocking up on mulled wine, nibbling on a mince pie or two and putting up our Christmas tree. This year the pièce de résistance is some giant baubles!

OK, I was a little premature putting my Christmas tree up in the last weekend of November, but I like to enjoy the festive month knowing that everything is ready.

Yes, I’ve already done the shopping and wrapped the majority of presents, but this means I can use the time to catch up with friends, family and loved ones over the month ahead.

My Christmas tree antics have generated some office discussions about when it’s the ‘right’ time to put up a tree – and whether a fake is fine or only the real thing will do.

Which? Convo team member Alex told me that he’s bought a tree that’s collected and replanted for reuse the following year. Although I use an old artificial tree that has been passed down to me, I love the idea of a tree that can be reused year-after-year.

And with Convo editor Patrick wearing his Christmas jumper (sorry Patrick, your ‘winter’ jumper) through the cold months, I think there are a few of us that like to get into the festive mood nice and early.

Fake vs real Christmas trees

On our Facebook page you’ve been discussing the real vs fake dilemma. Jenn told us she has an artificial tree for practical reasons:

‘I once had a real one and I was still hoovering the needles up in June.’

Rose-Marie has a solution to this dilemma:

‘Get a non-drop real tree that doesn’t drop needles. Expensive but worth it. Getting my tree this Thursday.’

And Arthur told us he buys a real tree for nostalgic reasons:

‘A real tree every time, the smell of it always reminds me of Christmas as a child.’

When do you put your Christmas tree up – and do you go for a fake tree or the real thing? Perhaps you’re like Anne and her husband who rotate their chosen trees:

‘We have to take it in turns! He likes a white artificial tree (gross!) And I like a big tall real tree so the fairy at the top is bent over!! White tree this year alas!!’


I will put up my modest artificial tree at least a week before Christmas. I don’t bother with a real tree because I will be away for the best part of two weeks over the festive season. My family always have an attractive natural tree.

From the garden of England says:
2 December 2014

My family was brought up that you should observe the twelve days of Christmas. The tree (from the garden) is potted and brought into the house together with the decorations go up on the 24th December.

January 6th arrives, and life returns to normal once again. The tree is returned to the garden until next December. Another year begins.


My jumper is not Christmassy! End of. I do have a shirt I bought that’s very Christmassy, but it won’t see the light of day for another week or so.

As far as Christmas trees, I don’t have one any longer in London, but back home in the Forest I hope it’ll be up by the time I return home. Otherwise, where are all the tree decorations we’ve bought going to go?


We’ve got a really good artificial tree that came ready wired with LED lights. It’s great and will last for years. Our previous artificial tree last over 10 years making it excellent vfm.

Those that ‘miss the smell’ of the real thing should get a spray can of christmas tree smell.

Robert Logan says:
3 December 2014

We always get our tree from the Forestry Commission at Sherwood Pines in Sherwood Forest. The tree goes up on the Saturday closest to twelve days before Christmas and stays up for the twelve days of Christmas coming down on 6th January. We get the traditional Norwegian Spruce because our daughter Alice likes the smell. Traditionally I set up the tree and then sit back with a glass of whisky and criticise the trimming of the tree much to the annoyance of the decorators (Alice and her mum, Judith).


A few years ago I ordered a Christmas tree for the garden from one of the local estates. I thought something about ten feet tall would look alright. On delivery day, this enormous flat-bed lorry turned up with a tree lying on it that must have been over twenty feet tall. It was a wonderful specimen but first I had to dig a deep hole to sink it into and then heave it upright. Quite an effort but we managed it. I realised that unless I attached the lights to the top before erecting the tree we would never be able to dress it decently. It did look good in front of the house but because it was really only the top of a forest tree and had no roots it was never going to survive. Ever since then we’ve been a bit more sensible and had a normal Christmas tree and small lights from about the tenth of December; we get rooted trees and try to grow them on in the garden.

The Christmas Fairy says:
6 December 2014

Bought a real one last week from Fine Pines Swindon – gorgeous hand trained tree, lovely smell .
Saw off the bottom of the trunk , stand it in a bucket of water for a couple of days, bring indoors indoors , keep watered and away from heat – will last all the way through to January.


We observe the true meaning of Christmas, byt getting a real tree on Decembers 1st, adorning it and the house with en0ugh decorations and lights to start an extension to Amazon then aim to get totally inebriated, ravish as many nymphs as possible and wake up, sometimes in January. Vive La Saturnalia!

Sic hoc legere scis, nimis ereditionis habes.



Absolutely! The christmas tree has deep religious connotations going back all the way to the 18th Century when German members of the royal family introduced them to the UK.


Lesley-Jane Smith says:
7 December 2014

Our family have always gone with the 12 days of Christmas. Every year I ask my mum when the 12 days start, and every year we cant remember if it is …. up 6 days before, down 6 days after. OR 12 before and 12 after. AND every year we go with 12 and 12. We have been dong this since the 60’s.
Viva the artificial tree, simply no mess.


Counting from Christmas Day [the first day of Christmas], the twelfth day is January 5th. The convention is that Christmas decorations should be taken down then as the Twelfth Night is the end of the festival. Increasingly, January 6th is the dismantling day and I notice around where we live that many houses are still festooned with dangling strands of twinkling lights, Father Christmas is still being bidden to go up to the chimbley and relieve himself of some parcels, and the tree still stands proud in all its sparkling finery. Perhaps some folk will take their lights down this weekend but more and more are leaving them draped along the gutters for years on end.


” In the British Empire (including the American colonies), Wednesday 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday 14 September 1752.”

Under the Julian calender this new-fangled 6th January has no basis whatsoever : )

And just for fun many countries started the new year on Christmas day.