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Did people really put the tree up on Christmas Eve years ago? (Original Post) Polybius Dec 2021 OP
My mom said they put their up on Christmas Eve when she was a kid. StarryNite Dec 2021 #1
Yes, very commonly. I know my own parents' families did. Ocelot II Dec 2021 #2
We did when I was young... 2naSalit Dec 2021 #3
That Was our Practice, Sir The Magistrate Dec 2021 #4
I still do UpInArms Dec 2021 #5
Wow why? Polybius Dec 2021 #6
I am usually sick of Christmas long before Christmas because the season starts too damn soon. Ocelot II Dec 2021 #9
I was born in 1947. MyOwnPeace Dec 2021 #7
My mom and dad put up the tree after we went to bed in the early 50s. Mr.Bill Dec 2021 #8
It took me many years to realize it, but our tree went up on Christmas Eve because Nay Dec 2021 #16
That's interesting, I wonder if there's a variation by region? malthaussen Dec 2021 #21
This was 60 years ago, so maybe just a difference in the era. And it was in Florida. Nay Dec 2021 #25
I'm the same vintage, different region. malthaussen Dec 2021 #27
When you're attaching actual burning candles to a resinous conifer inside your house, it is best RockRaven Dec 2021 #10
My parents always did that. Even when the stores started Tomconroy Dec 2021 #11
Yes. Christmas Eve to Epiphany is when the tree was up MaryMagdaline Dec 2021 #12
My family did. Mister Ed Dec 2021 #13
This message was self-deleted by its author sl8 Dec 2021 #14
That was my family tradition growing up. (born in '54) Nittersing Dec 2021 #15
There is actually some old Celtic reason why you don't bring in the Scrivener7 Dec 2021 #17
Perhaps it stems from the 12 days of Christmas starting on the 25th/Christmas Day. Solly Mack Dec 2021 #18
We usually put ours up about the third week of December, although I recall one year we bought our dameatball Dec 2021 #19
Dunno about "people," but... malthaussen Dec 2021 #20
My recollection is that the tree went up when the kids were off for Christmas break rurallib Dec 2021 #22
My mother said that this was the tradition when she was a child. Irish_Dem Dec 2021 #23
Our family has always put it up around December 10th. Elessar Zappa Dec 2021 #24
Same with my family as a kid Polybius Dec 2021 #26

StarryNite

(9,231 posts)
1. My mom said they put their up on Christmas Eve when she was a kid.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 01:12 AM
Dec 2021

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.

Ocelot II

(114,537 posts)
2. Yes, very commonly. I know my own parents' families did.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 01:12 AM
Dec 2021

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.

2naSalit

(84,939 posts)
3. We did when I was young...
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 01:26 AM
Dec 2021

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.

Polybius

(14,965 posts)
6. Wow why?
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 01:56 AM
Dec 2021

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.

Ocelot II

(114,537 posts)
9. I am usually sick of Christmas long before Christmas because the season starts too damn soon.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:18 AM
Dec 2021

I don’t need weeks of it; I liked putting up the tree just a few days before. It was something to look forward to.

MyOwnPeace

(16,857 posts)
7. I was born in 1947.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:00 AM
Dec 2021

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....

Mr.Bill

(23,844 posts)
8. My mom and dad put up the tree after we went to bed in the early 50s.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:14 AM
Dec 2021

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?

Nay

(12,051 posts)
16. It took me many years to realize it, but our tree went up on Christmas Eve because
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 07:49 AM
Dec 2021

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

malthaussen

(16,944 posts)
21. That's interesting, I wonder if there's a variation by region?
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 10:19 AM
Dec 2021

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

Nay

(12,051 posts)
25. This was 60 years ago, so maybe just a difference in the era. And it was in Florida.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 01:34 PM
Dec 2021

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.

malthaussen

(16,944 posts)
27. I'm the same vintage, different region.
Sun Dec 26, 2021, 09:15 AM
Dec 2021

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

-- Mal

RockRaven

(14,597 posts)
10. When you're attaching actual burning candles to a resinous conifer inside your house, it is best
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:52 AM
Dec 2021

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.

MaryMagdaline

(6,842 posts)
12. Yes. Christmas Eve to Epiphany is when the tree was up
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 05:40 AM
Dec 2021

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

Mister Ed

(5,816 posts)
13. My family did.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 05:46 AM
Dec 2021

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 wàs before that show first aired.

Response to Polybius (Original post)

Nittersing

(6,181 posts)
15. That was my family tradition growing up. (born in '54)
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 07:39 AM
Dec 2021

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.

Scrivener7

(50,348 posts)
17. There is actually some old Celtic reason why you don't bring in the
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 08:05 AM
Dec 2021

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.

Solly Mack

(90,705 posts)
18. Perhaps it stems from the 12 days of Christmas starting on the 25th/Christmas Day.
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 08:09 AM
Dec 2021

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.







dameatball

(7,360 posts)
19. We usually put ours up about the third week of December, although I recall one year we bought our
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 09:38 AM
Dec 2021

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

malthaussen

(16,944 posts)
20. Dunno about "people," but...
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 10:14 AM
Dec 2021

... 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

rurallib

(62,291 posts)
22. My recollection is that the tree went up when the kids were off for Christmas break
Sat Dec 25, 2021, 11:25 AM
Dec 2021

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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