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Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:07 AM

Did people really put the tree up on Christmas Eve years ago?

I remember my mom telling me this as a kid when I complained that December 10th was too late to put it up.

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Reply Did people really put the tree up on Christmas Eve years ago? (Original post)
Polybius Dec 2021 OP
StarryNite Dec 2021 #1
Ocelot II Dec 2021 #2
2naSalit Dec 2021 #3
The Magistrate Dec 2021 #4
UpInArms Dec 2021 #5
Polybius Dec 2021 #6
Ocelot II Dec 2021 #9
MyOwnPeace Dec 2021 #7
Mr.Bill Dec 2021 #8
Nay Dec 2021 #16
malthaussen Dec 2021 #21
Nay Dec 2021 #25
malthaussen Dec 2021 #27
RockRaven Dec 2021 #10
Tomconroy Dec 2021 #11
MaryMagdaline Dec 2021 #12
Mister Ed Dec 2021 #13
sl8 Dec 2021 #14
Nittersing Dec 2021 #15
Scrivener7 Dec 2021 #17
Solly Mack Dec 2021 #18
dameatball Dec 2021 #19
malthaussen Dec 2021 #20
rurallib Dec 2021 #22
Irish_Dem Dec 2021 #23
Elessar Zappa Dec 2021 #24
Polybius Dec 2021 #26

Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:12 AM

1. My mom said they put their up on Christmas Eve when she was a kid.

Maybe because they were lit up with candles? I don't know what if any kind of lights my mom's family had on their trees.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:12 AM

2. Yes, very commonly. I know my own parents' families did.

When I was a kid the earliest it would go up was my grandma's birthday, the 18th. If you put it up too early it would be starting to dry by Christmas.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:26 AM

3. We did when I was young...

Somewhere along the line we started doing it about a week before, probably because we had so many kids and organizing everything was a major production.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:28 AM

4. That Was our Practice, Sir

It went up late Christmas Eve, just before we left for midnight mass.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:33 AM

5. I still do

Nd it comes down on New Years Day, if not sooner

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:56 AM

6. Wow why?

I understand the practice years ago, but seeing a tree up say December 10th builds the spirit of Christmas. It's such a beautiful decoration; the longer it's up, the better.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 03:18 AM

9. I am usually sick of Christmas long before Christmas because the season starts too damn soon.

I dont need weeks of it; I liked putting up the tree just a few days before. It was something to look forward to.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 03:00 AM

7. I was born in 1947.

I'm not sure when it stopped (perhaps in '53/'54) but there was NO SIGN of Christmas inside my house BEFORE CHRISTMAS as far as a tree was concerned. SANTA brought presents AND the tree!

My folks waited until I went to bed ON CHRISTMAS EVE - and THEN put up and decorated the tree, complete with the Lionel train ready to run underneath the tree, with the platform covered with little sparkle houses and plastic snow! Oh, and a row of wrapped presents in front!

I think I know now why they always looked so tired when we went to Grand-pap's for Christmas dinner....

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 03:14 AM

8. My mom and dad put up the tree after we went to bed in the early 50s.

They told us Santa brought the tree. I actually suspect it was done because on Christmas Eve you could buy a tree for about 25 cents. My dad would never admit in in later years, though.

We weren't poor, but we weren't rich either. Our parents did lots of interesting things to cut corners and save money. My wife came from a family with five kids. Their Sunday routine consisted of going to church, And since Catholic Communion required fasting that morning, their first meal was a hearty lunch. Sunday evening was popcorn night while watching the Ed Sullivan Show. The kids looked forward to this and loved it. Can you imagine how much money their dad saved over the years by feeding five kids popcorn for dinner one night a week?

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 08:49 AM

16. It took me many years to realize it, but our tree went up on Christmas Eve because

trees were FREE then. My father was cheap as heck. The tree sellers abandoned their lots at about 5 PM and gave trees away.

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Response to Nay (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 11:19 AM

21. That's interesting, I wonder if there's a variation by region?

The old man wouldn't pay full price for a tree if you threatened him with a gun, but we still had to pay like a buck on Christmas Eve.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:34 PM

25. This was 60 years ago, so maybe just a difference in the era. And it was in Florida.

But even when my son was young (30 yrs ago) and we visited Mom on Christmas, she had not bought a tree yet on Christmas Eve, so we went out and . . . got a free tree at an abandoned tree lot! They had even put a "free trees" sign. I was surprised this sort of thing was still going on. Happy, but surprised.

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Response to Nay (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 26, 2021, 10:15 AM

27. I'm the same vintage, different region.

Maybe my father went out too early for the last-chancers to abandon their tree lots completely.

-- Mal

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 03:52 AM

10. When you're attaching actual burning candles to a resinous conifer inside your house, it is best

that said conifer be very very VERY freshly cut.

And even after the dawn of the era of electric lighting, until the last quarter-to-half century those lights got HOT.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 06:08 AM

11. My parents always did that. Even when the stores started

decorating before Halloween.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 06:40 AM

12. Yes. Christmas Eve to Epiphany is when the tree was up

12 days of Christmas. We actually put it up about one week before Xmas as years went by.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 06:46 AM

13. My family did.

We'd go and find the most scraggly tree on the lot, take it home, and transform it into a thing of beauty with our decorations.

Sort of like in the Peanuts Christmas special, but this ws before that show first aired.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 08:39 AM

15. That was my family tradition growing up. (born in '54)

One or two strings of lights on the front porch... an assortment of household decorations... and the tree. All on Christmas Eve Day. And at one point, Mom started putting McDonald's gift certificates with friends names on the tree... So friends always found their way over to our house for those and the mini candy canes that also decorated the tree.

And everything came down on New Years Day. I think part of that was an attempt by my parents to not over-commercialize the day.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 09:05 AM

17. There is actually some old Celtic reason why you don't bring in the

greens till the eve of the Solstice or something like that, but I forget what it is. I'll try to find it and post it if I do.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 09:09 AM

18. Perhaps it stems from the 12 days of Christmas starting on the 25th/Christmas Day.

It's not simply a song. It's an actual thing called Twelvetide. It's a Christian celebration and it ends the day before the feast of Epiphany.

Put the tree up on the eve and leave it up until the feast of Epiphany (Jan.6th) or Orthodox Christian day (Jan.7th).

That's twelve days plus 1 or 2 days.

I don't know why people did it and still do it. But maybe it is rooted in Twelvetide.

Maybe. Maybe not.







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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 10:38 AM

19. We usually put ours up about the third week of December, although I recall one year we bought our

tree on Christmas Eve. Maybe we were broke that year, not sure. I was pretty young at the time.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 11:14 AM

20. Dunno about "people," but...

... my father was a notorious procrastinator, and so our Christmas Eve "tradition" was to race around frantically trying to find a halfway decent tree among the (leftover, marked down to a dollar) lots still open. This was compounded by the need to deal with my elder brother's birthday, which fell on 24 December. I remember a lot of yelling.

So, insofar as 50-60 years counts as "years ago," I'd say some people did.

-- Mal

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 12:25 PM

22. My recollection is that the tree went up when the kids were off for Christmas break

So somewhere @ the 21st.

We had electric lights but there was a real concern for fires.
The tree came down on January 2, absolutely.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 12:32 PM

23. My mother said that this was the tradition when she was a child.

The tree was put up Christmas Eve.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Dec 25, 2021, 01:50 PM

24. Our family has always put it up around December 10th.

Not too early, not too late.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 26, 2021, 08:36 AM

26. Same with my family as a kid

I was that kid who pushed for it earlier though.

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