Another traditions one - putting up the tree(13 Posts)
Yesterday we bought our Christmas tree, it's the first one DP and I have in our home together, and will be decorating it today. We'll put some Christmas music on and have some mulled wine whilst we're at it. What traditions do you have for decorating your tree?
Aw, enjoy your first Christmas in your home together
I always put the tree up and DH always does the other stuff (tinsel round picture frames, ornaments etc). We usually have Christmas music on and a drink or two while we're doing the decorations, which we do after DS has gone to bed. They went up last night so we're all Christmassy this morning.
Off out to buy some outside lights this morning
We're putting ours up today. Our only tradition is that kids are allowed to help and I only do minimal retouching to balance out the "8 hundred baubles on the bottom branches effect"
I like the Christmas songs while we do it idea, but dh would probably hate it <grinch>
The tree comes down on boxing day though. I stick to that tradition religiously.
Ours will go up next weekend - I would go for mid-Dec but in the last few years most trees are sold by then. The tree stays until Twelfth Night (5 Jan) though other decorations may get taken down after new years.
Apart from Ds helping now, main ritual is finding we need something from the cupboards behind the tree!
There's a dove of peace on the top which I grew up with - MrNC complains it looks mangy but then concedes it's OK when lit from below.
Ever since I turned 18, my Mom has gotten me a different ornament at Christmas. Then, when DH and I got together, we pick out an ornament each year. And then when DD came along, my Mom started buying her an ornament each year. So we have quite a collection.
When we decorate the tree, we play Christmas music and as the ornaments come out of the box, we tell the story of each ornament...who it came from, what was going on in our lives at the time, etc. DD's favorite story is about the ornament that came from my Mom the year my Dad passed away. That year my Mom gave each of us kids one of the ornaments that she and Dad had bought for their first Christmas tree.
We also buy an ornament every year for DS, as does my mum. They'll have their own box when the tree comes down this year so that when he has his own tree one day, he'll have all those years worth of baubles!
Ours goes up late - usually the Saturday before Xmas. We always have a real tree, we choose and tag our tree end of November and they cut it for us on the day we request. We've already tagged our tree and the kids have bought a new bauble each as we do every year at this time.
Xmas music, the kids wear Santa hats, we do the whole house on the same day. So it goes from Xmas is coming to Its Here! all in one day. Then hot choc/mulled wine, mince pies and a Xmas movie all snuggled together. Ace.
Tree goes up first weekend in December, me and DH assemble the tree (its artificial) while DS's get all the Christmas cuddly toys arranged around the room then we all decorate the tree(I rearrange it after they have went to bed kr there would be no decorations on the top bit) then we put the other decorations around the house.
We used to make the DC sing "O Christmas Tree,O Christmas Tree how lovely are your branches as the tree came over the threshold ( sometimes as late as Christmas Eve)
Grown up now they still sing if they are here and if not DH and I do!!
The tree stays up until 12th night
DD always has to help - DH will if he is in the country (he travels a lot and I don't always want to wait on his return as that can be late enough in December).
If we are staying at home over Christmas, we get a real one. If we are travelling to our parents' houses (only 15 miles apart, but 250 away from us) we put up the fake we bought for our very first Christmas in our new house (6 weeks before our wedding, and only DH was living there yet). It is still going strong when needed despite being a Primark cheapie!
Sometimes we have a couple of things up before then, always DD's advent calendar, but sometimes a Santa twirler over the stairs and the paper chains that DD has made. The books and DVDs come out of storage on 1st December for DD. And I allow some of the crockery (a mug each, DD's plastic tumbler and plate) out too. But mostly it all comes out together. (The rest of the crockery, and the few little towels I have, I keep until Christmas week itself, and our original version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is saved for Christmas Eve).
We also buy a new ornament (or 3!) every year - often on our holidays or other travels during the year, sometimes coming up to Christmas itself if we see something special. This year, we have a log cabin ornament to build (from summer hols in Canada), a glass bear from M&S (reminiscent of Canada) and a garish clown head (impulse purchase on a recent work trip to Greece).
I play some of my Christmas CDs while we decorate, or else we turn on either Merry Christmas Radio (on Live365 internet radio) - or maybe even a Spotify list this year. But no tv as the tree is a SERIOUS business!!
We start the season with our first mince pies watching the Late Late Toy Show (which was last Friday night!!). Advent Calendar on 1st. Tree some weekend in middle of December, but usually up before school finishes. Final flourishes out on Christmas Eve. And everything goes away on 6th January (or maybe the Sunday before if it's early in the week like this year).
One thing I like to do once the tree is actually up is to take some reflection time for myself one night. When DH is out (he has a few "stag" events in the run up), and I've packed DD up to bed, I turn off all the lights in the front room except tree lights, have a couple of candles (and the stove!) lit, and maybe the oil burner going with a festive mix. Make myself a nice drink (I started with Jack Daniels when I was 16 back home, and it's been all sorts over the years, now likely to be a HM limoncello or sloe gin, or a nice drop of cognac - many's the year it's been something soft though too). And then lie on the floor under the tree, contemplating the year that has gone, where things are now (in all sorts of ways) and where I'd like them to get to, remembering times past, and just taking a chance for me to reflect and remember and plan. Maybe 15-30 minutes. Then getting up off the floor, turning on lights, and going back to the washing up, sweeping floors, checking lunches are made, doing more wrapping or card writing, trying to finish the knitting/sewing/mad craft idea for a present.......real life again!!
Thanks guys, Biddie, I love your reflecting, such a great idea. And Kitten I like that you tell the story of the ornaments, we have decided that when we eventually have a DC we will get them an ornament each year so hopefully we'll gather some good stories too! We have one this year from a trip to Prague last January righr after we found out we were successful on our house!
We put out our tree up on the day of the winter solstice and leave an led tea light burning next to it all night long to call back the sun over the longest night.
We also decorate it with biscuits, so for a couple of days beforehand we do lots of baking and stringing ready for the tree.
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