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When should you put your Christmas tree up?

Is 1 December the best time to put your Christmas tree and decorations up? Not everyone here could agree on the right time to make the effort – especially those with pets!

I’d agree with anyone who says November is too early for Christmas decorations, but as soon as the clock ticks over to 1 December it’s a different story!

I’m all for maximising the life-span of Christmas decorations. After all, trees and lights often don’t come cheap, so it’s nice to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth as well as getting into the festive spirit!

With the 25th little over three weeks away, having the tree and other decorations up for as long as possible helps build a sense of anticipation and atmosphere that’s unique to the season.

Going home for Christmas

Things are a little different for me this year. I (finally) moved over the summer, so I’m going to need to pick up some decorations for the flat. Incidentally, if anyone has any recommendations for a flat-sized, fake tree do let me know!

And that’s another debate in itself; do you prefer a real Christmas tree (and the maintenance that comes with it)? Or is a plastic one more of a hassle-free way to go?

But back to when to put your decorations up – I asked around the office and opinions were mixed.

One person told me they hadn’t put decorations up for a decade! While others head back to their family homes, so see little reason to spend time putting decorations up, only to be away for the majority of the time.

But I did manage to find one person who agreed with me! Lucy said:

I normally prefer to wait to put my christmas decorations up, but this year I am counting down the days! I’ll be putting my decorations up over the weekend. That way I’ll get just over three weeks to enjoy the decorations, lights, christmas jumpers and mince pies.

Curious cats

Another common theme from the responses I received was troublesome pets – especially cats! It’s no great surprise they’re attracted to decorations, particuarly traditional Xmas baubles.

It seems that cats wreaking Christmas-tree havok is so widespread that Argos is even selling a ‘half tree’! Thanks to Oscar for pointing this one out:

Alex has also had a few issues with her dogs:

I normally put mine up the week before Christmas because I have to venture into the loft to get my Christmas tree out and I absolutely dread that. Otherwise, I would do it as early as possible. We can’t have anything hanging off the tree too low otherwise one of our dogs will try to eat it!

So, will you be putting your Christmas tree and other decorations up this weekend? Have you had any issues with troublesome pets over the festive season?

Let us know if you prefer to keep your decorations up for as long as possible, or if you just prefer to get it all out of the way.

Comments

As far as “troublesome pets ” go , absolutely our cat was a terror in that direction .
My wife “inherited ” some German traits from an uncle who was German and every year put up a whole village of cardboard/plastic/ small cars/people in the window /lights etc to the delight of local kids .
Our cat sat and watched this with growing anger as it was denied my wife,s lap to sit on.
On completion of the village I switched on the lights and both stood back to admire her work , it was then our cat pounced scattering a whole days work everywhere because of jealousy , my wife was not amused and I had to restore the village to its original state .

The tree ,of course , was pulled down several times by him trying to climb it , we no longer put up decorations but the memory still persists.

ALBERT SHARPLES says:
1 December 2018

I thought there was an official time, 12 days before Xmas.

That was “cancelled “/redacted due to commercial pressure Albert.
Xmas starts months before December .
I remember making hanging Christmas decorations at primary school in the days leading up to Christmas , Carols were sung, bells chimed , the Salvation Army played , Goodwill was proclaimed and a feeling of spiritual “happiness ” prevailed , well for a couple of weeks anyway.

Now its Xmas and a feeling of Commercial happiness prevails in boardrooms and empty pockets in those pressurised to spend-spend-spend . Christmas no more-Long live Xmas .

I am going to put one of our artificial trees up in the Conservatory today and the second one in the front window next weekend.

I hope the trees have survived the packing and the house move. The second one might be too big for our present house because we are a bit over-furnished at the moment.

Both trees will be covered in lights, not too many baubles, and perhaps just a twinkle of tinsel.

I never seem to be able to get the trees back in the boxes they came in, and the plastic boxes marketed for this purpose never seem to be quite big enough either. Any recommendations would be gratefully received.

Patrick Taylor says:
1 December 2018

In deference to the planet could I suggest that Christmas trees, real or plastic, are unnecessary and of course no great tradition. Perhaps some holly, some ivy, and some mistletoe would be sufficient and available locally : )

Member of the anti-commercial Christmas Front.!

Agree to both Patrick as-just by chance I have a holly tree in my garden ,has the anti-commercial Xmas Front got a –.com so I can join ?

We also have a very large holly tree in the front garden, smothered in berries, but it doesn’t do much to cheer up the atmosphere indoors. An attractive decorated Christmas tree with the lights on all day in these gloomy times does look rather good and the tree can go back in its box and come out again next year and for many years thereafter.

I have cut some of the lower stems off the holly tree to add to the indoor scene. The interesting thing is that only the lower leaves are prickly – the upper ones are smooth-edged; I expect that is an evolutionary trick to protect the tree from browsing animals in the wild.

There’s plenty of ivy outside but we don’t want it indoors – it doesn’t look that wonderful. From inside we can see the roses still in bloom and the flowers on the honeysuckle that had a second flourish this year.

We used to have outside lights on a living fir tree in the front garden with the power plug on a time switch. The problem was that every afternoon when the lights came on the sequence controller had reverted to a manic chaser effect and I had to go out and reset it to static or slow fade; if we went out or away for a few days it was best to switch it all off rather than disturb the neighbours with frenetic flashing.

I have a nostalgic liking for the old fashioned types of paper garlands, bells, and big balls, so we have a few those around the hall to provide a festive welcome.

I have today done a shipping order to Sainsbury’s to restock the drinks department, and to meet a special request I have included some Limoncello for an after-dinner knock-out drop. It should recall good memories of a superb Mediterranean cruise holiday.

As a tribute to our generation’s tastes we can also offer Campari, Cinzano, Martini and Pernod. The younger generation think they’re rather awful but we think they make a pleasant change from wall-to-wall Prosecco. And why not drink Pimm’s at Christmas time? If you don’t overdo the lemonade it’s as good as many of the fancy overpriced gins that are filling the shelves these days, and well-garnished it looks good too.

So why do people today turn their nose up at Black Tower white wine and other low-price German wines? It’s cheap but tasty and anyone can enjoy it. It acquired a bad name in the 1970’s for snobbish reasons when it went out fashion, and obviously with the excise duty and VAT accounting for 40% of the retail price the wine is not going to be fantastic given that the growers, the makers, the shippers and the retailers all have to have their cut. But it’s worth a try if you don’t want to be too connoisseur-ish and you might have a delightful surprise. Pound for pound it’s better value than many of the Australian wines because it doesn’t have to cross the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to get here.

I shall put something in the window, just to shine at night, but since it’s me that puts things up and takes them down, that will probably be it. Happy memories of making huge paper chains with the children and holding a length competition with a suitable prize. Of necessity our Christmas party, concert, carols et al occurred during school time so the last weeks of term were a good run up to Christmas itself and the children were in definite Christmas mood by the last day. It would seem that this would be a good time to begin to decorate the house, with help and as much home made finery as can be manufactured. If a tree is part of this, it is a good base to begin and chocolates can be placed among the branches with no one daring to remove any until Christmas day. My school, this year, is decorating their tree with recycled items, so mince pie cases and yogurt pots will be pressed into shapely service and lovingly painted and glittered. Father Christmas will make his usual visit and we shall learn all about Jesus once more and twist the Nativity story yet again to include as many extras as will fit in the montage. More home made costumes from the recycle heap. So, to answer your question, George, if there are children involved, begin when they are available to help. If not, decide what is appropriate – flying Santas and flashing sleighs over the roof tops, or a modest candle in the window, – but (in my opinion) a fortnight before is early enough to break in the festive season without killing it off by over exposure.

More to the point in a consumer context is when Christmas trees in public places, particularly in shops and shopping centres, should go up. I think there should be a ban on Christmas decorations before 1st December. Christmas is not a commercial event, but a religious event. I’m fed up with seeing Christmas trees in November and other types of Christmas decorations as early as September.

And the other thing that really irritates me is phrases like “the holiday season“. To most people, this means the summer, when most people go on holiday, not December when we celebrate Christmas, which can be referred to secularly as “the festive season“.

I don’t put up the Christmas tree until about a week before the day, and am always away visiting family in the highlands of Scotland, so I don’t bother with a real tree. A friend comes round to help decorate the tree. The tree was bought for my previous home and is a bit to big for the bay window of my present house. I will try and find a smaller tree for next year and hopefully that will be easier to put in the loft, which does not have a large hatch. I leave the lights on a timer when I’m away over the Christmas and New Year period and one of the first jobs is to take down the tree when I return home.

I don’t see any point in having Christmas decorations in November.

NFH ,can you point to any advertising media on UK TV where there is –
hymn singing – views inside a church/chapel / Nativity displays- Jesus Christ -Christmas carols like -Holy Night -Nowell-Nowell etc ?
The Humanist Society has much to say at this time of the year and BBC policy on religious programmes making a fool of the Christian religion while keeping their lips tight shut on two others I could name ?
Our national religion is coming to an end via primary schools and pc and minority dogma , why keep up the pretense ?
The problem is what is offered in its place —-zero.
Merry Xmas !

Well, the tree arrived from a pal’s farm today, and 86 sets of lights are already up. I keep hoping it’ll confuse the ISS…

Evidence, please, Ian! We want a picture!

Let’s have an abundance of lights on trees, doors and windows or wherever you see fit to brighten up the long gloomy winter nights, whether you believe in Christmas or not.

I recall one occasion during the summer months after a heavy shower, the sun came out and lit up a myriad of sparkling raindrops on a large shrub with every colour in the rainbow. It was quite magical and something I will never forget.

So if the sun is unable to provide us with such a beautiful spectacle during the winter months, lets provide our own 🙂

john wallace dunn says:
4 December 2018

who cares, really. Why not actually uncover the facts of christmas, they are absolutely fascinating. Perhaps you would rather avoid the facts,however, I find that contradicts your philosophy, or should do. Like many I outgrew christmas many years ago, and it is mostly perpetuated by commercial interest which supposedly you are a bastion against. Well you are run by bureaucrats so no real hope their. From coca cola to Saturnalia to Mistletoe, from trees to turkey to richard the lion heart , what nonsense for nonsense is what it is. I welcome any comment from any who have actually studied the facts. A simple definition of truth ( truth is all the facts) , problem being you usually have to search for them, wading through the ******** and misinformation. As for children what about the wonders of the universe, the winter solstice, the seasons, the migrations on land sea and air. Yes I know you would have to take an interest. Happy winter solstice to the northern hemisphere, whilst explaining the aurora borealis. jwd

I’ve not had a Christmas tree of any kind for 30 years – cats, and then German Shepherds were not conducive to such things. And I love it – I have no intention of ever having a tree in the house again.

Ruth Holman says:
9 December 2018

If people are celebrating Christmas, the christian Christmas season starts on Christmas day and lasts 12 days until Epiphany, so decorations should go up on Christmas eve and come down on 12th Night ( 5th Jan).

Culturally we now celebrate something else driven and manipulated by exploitative commercial imperatives, but the christians can’t really complain. Christmas was a syncretic blend of pagan tradition and christian teaching, and what we have now is just an even a greater syncretic mishmash

Alan Knowles-Wilkinson says:
9 December 2018

As a none christian and a none believer, I still support peoples differing views. I have children,grand children and great grandchildren and all want to enjoy the traditional Christmas experience. Who am I to deny them. As a Yorkshire man our Yorkshire pudding must be served before the main course as a starter. The reasons for this go back a long way. (ask any true Yorkshireman).

Thats very fair Alan and having lived in North Yorkshire I liked the people (down to earth ) and their food.

Prompted by this Convo, the tree was put up on 5 December. That’s a record for me.

It’s a vinyl tree? 🙂

Not that sort of vinyl. It’s so realistic that it has started to drop needles. 🙁

Does anyone fancy brussels sprouts flavoured tea? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46460914

I’m surprised that we did not hear of this back in July.