We began decorating this year by being able to see the place!
The fruit trees (citrus and avocado) were going nuts so the nice men from the tree store came one morning and made big trees small again! Four guys worked all morning and made the house visible again!
Now time for the serious work so Pete, Mitch and the boys (with guidance from Grandma) moved the 60 boxes of Christmas from Dave's house to ours. We are lucky Dave has a spare garage!
Bringing The Decorations In The House
It is generally thought that Christmas trees were established in Britain after Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert, brought the custom over from Germany. However, there are records of small fir trees being used to decorate houses before this and sailors used to affix one to the top of the mainmast of their ships.
In Germany and northern Europe, the practice of decorating coniferous trees originated in pagan times, when the trees were seen as phallic symbols representing the fertility of the nature gods. The practice was associated with the Winter Solstice (around December 21) which was seen as the date of the rebirth of the Sun God. Tree decoration was later adopted into Christian practice after the Church set December 25th as the birth of Christ, thereby supplanting the pagan celebration of the solstice.
Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve (24 December), and then removed the day after twelfth night (i.e., 6 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck. Modern commercialization of Christmas has resulted in trees being put up much earlier; in shops often as early as late October (in the UK, Selfridge's Christmas department is up by early September, complete with Christmas trees). A common tradition in U.S. homes is to put the tree up right after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) and to take it down right after the New Year. Some households in the U.S. do not put up the tree until the second week of December, and leave it up until the 6th of January (Epiphany).
The Babies Supervise!!
Pinky, Sarge, and Daddy Mickey
In Germany, traditionally the tree is put up 24th of December and taken down 7th of January, though many start one or two weeks earlier and in Roman-Catholic areas the tree may be kept until late January. In Australia, the Christmas tree is usually put up on the 1st of December, which occurs about a week before the school summer holidays; except for South Australia, where most people put up their tree after the Adelaide Credit Union Christmas Pageant, which is in early November. Some traditions suggest that Christmas trees may be kept up until no later than the 2nd of February, the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Candlemas), when the Christmas season effectively closes. Superstitions warn of negative consequences if Christmas greenery is not removed by Candlemas Eve.