Monday, 18 December 2006

Is it too early to mention Christmas?

There will be a Trustees meeting here at 6 o'clock this evening. Having made yet more wreaths this morning (58 so far, so the Sage tells me), I have just hoovered up the debris and put a rug over the stains. I looked around. There is no sign of Christmas in the room at all.

Is there anyone else who decorates the house for Christmas, rather than for the whole of December? I think that you have three weeks for preparation and the festivities start on Christmas Eve and go on until 6th January (Epiphany). That's a fortnight; Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the Twelve Days of Christmas. But this relaxed, albeit expectant, attitude seems at odd with the rest of the country. I can understand shops, offices and schools decorating early, but does one not get fed up with dusty old cards and greenery by the New Year, if they've already been dangling around for a month?

I won't deny that there is a certain degree of procrastination in my attitude. And when my children was young, we were persuaded to put the tree up a week or so in advance. In those days, we used to make elaborate decorations, most of which have fallen apart now. One year we made Father Christmases, using golf balls as heads. These bowed the tree branches down considerably and if I do the same thing in future with the grandbabies I will learn from it and use ping pong balls.

The smartest decorations for the tree date from the time Al and El took stained glass classes. Al made lots of glass decorations; angels, Father Christmases, bells, Christmas trees etc. These are also heavy, but we just make sure we buy a sturdy tree.

I bought some Fairtrade tree ornaments. These include little wooden dolls, wearing saris. How multicultural. Have I told you about the time I wore a sari to the village pub? It doesn't take much in this village to cause a sensation.

15 comments:

Angelina said...

Not sure how correctly I remember this but I think we put our tree up the weekend before Christmas when I was little.
We used the same decorations every year in the same places (and copious amounts of them), cheap cheerful and some homemade.

Last year mum co-ordinated everything to red and gold posh decorations and it really felt like something was missing.

Z said...

I know just what you mean. A few of our gaudier and scruffier ones get left in the box nowadays, but I still go for sentiment over elegance. Now there's a new generation of children in the family, I've got an excuse to stick with the old and traditional again.

The Boy said...

When I was a child we used to hold off on decorations until Xmas eve, but with our little ones they just can't wait and the tree goes up a week in advance. They still think its terribly unfair that their mates get trees at the start of December, but I just can't quite break the tradition that far. Still stays up until epiphany when everyone else tears theirs down on boxing day.

Z said...

Exactly, Boy - snap!

Wendz said...

I put my tree up yesterday..no hang on...Saturday evening. It will stay until about a week or so after New Year. I think when we were kids it went up a week before as well. But Epiphany and Advent played no part as we are Baptist by trade ;-)

I like to buy a few new deccies ever year but my tree is a mish-mash of colour and certainly not posh.

Z said...

Apart from the Epiphany thing, snap again, Wendz. I like to have something extra most years, whether home-made or bought. I don't do a colour scheme, my Christmas tree is not a haven of good taste, sad to say.

Wendz said...

I think actually that this is how it should be.

I mean, I do like to admire beautifully decorated trees, I really do..they look lovely. But at home I like the cozy homey feel of hauling out the decorations and letting the boys decide what should go where - so it really looks 'homemade' and bright. Sparkly. Christmassy. You know. Not a decorating statement.

jen said...

i want to see the sari picture.

it would make a lovely xmas present for me, if i do say so myself..

and we decorate haphazardly, spur-like...no real order. but we are the low rent types..sadly enough.

Ally said...

I'm with you all the way - Christmas Eve for decorations, and we have a tree this year, finally; or if I'm feeling particularly un-Scrooge-like, a day or two before. And then down on the 6th. But even half way through the fortnight they decorations seem to get stale and sad. It all goes on for too long.

martina said...

Depends if any parties/family festivities are scheduled. This year, as nothing scheduled here, only a nice wreath on the door. Mom and Dad used to put decoration up the day after Thanksgiving/end of November, get the tree two weeks before Christmas and take everything down between 12/26 and 1/1.
Was the sari the wrong number to wear to the pub?

stitchwort said...

z, do tell about the sari in the pub.

Z said...

Low rent, Jen? Top of the tree, rather.

Ally, I'm not alone! Whoopee

Z said...

Martina and Stitchwort, you ask about the sari? I thought no one ever would.......

Pat said...

I think it's best to delay the excitement as long as possible and the decorations can get quite frowsty after a couple of weeks. As we are away am being a total Scrooge and leaving it to the beautiful cards.

Z said...

Pat, I look forward to the day when one of my children has a suitable home and circumstances to invite us for Christmas. But I enjoy entertaining them in the meantime.

Returning to dusty decorations would be a bit dispiriting however, I think you are right to stick to cards.