November 30, 2006

Drawing A Line In The Pine Needles

The family of the eight year old's best friend owns a Christmas tree farm out in the Shenendoah Valley that we've been meaning to patronize for several years but had never been able to manage it. Well, this year, the gel and her friend went to enormous lengths of badgering to ensure that we would actually do it, the result being that we are going to head out there this weekend, the only one in which we'll have the time between now and Christmas.

All well and good, thoughts I. Go to country. Frolick. Pick out tree. Bring home. I hadn't really got any farther in my mullings beyond an assumption that we would plunk the thing in a bucket in the garage when we got home and forget about it for a week or two. Sunday is only December 3rd, fer chrissakes. Heck, we won't even light our first Advent candle until that evening. Without mentioning it, I assumed that everybody else would feel that way too.

Well, this morning I discovered that in my assumptions, I had failed to reckon with the Missus and the gels.

"Daddy! Guess what?" said the six year old. "We're going to get the Christmas tree this weekend! And we're going to decorate it!"

"Wellll," I replied, "We're certainly going to get it. But I think we'll wait a bit before decorating."

The gel's eyes began to get somewhat saucer-shaped.

"Why, of course we're going to decorate it Sunday," says the Missus.

"Why, of course nothing of the sort," says I, "It'll barely even be December! Are you crazy?"

"Fine. I'll decorate it," says she.

"That's not the point," says I. "It's not that I don't want to do it, it's that it's just too early."

Well, we haven't resolved the issue yet.

Now ordinarily, I'm the easy-going type. But you have to take a stand sometimes, and putting up Christmas decorations too early is one of those things against which such stands must be made if Western Civilisation is to have any chance of survival. (Heck, when I was a kid, decorating the tree was one of the hallmarks of Christmas Eve.) At the outside, I'll go along with two weeks early. But three? You'll have to pry the stand out of my cold, dead fingers first.

We'll see how things go.

Posted by Robert at November 30, 2006 09:26 AM | TrackBack

Yeah, I used to think the same way.

Until the missus started decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. ANNDDDD the decorations don't come down until after "Old Christmas".

Hell with the way the stores / malls / Tee Vee are doing things I'm just thankful we aren't putting up the tree right after Halloween.

Fight the good fight Robbo. You're our only hope.

Posted by: phin at November 30, 2006 09:47 AM

Good luck with that, Robbo.

While I generally agree with the "not too soon" thing, my family has always decorated the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, that *is* waiting these days, but I do admire those who manage to hold out.

I just wonder how, with the ladies of the house against you, you expect to win that battle. :)

Posted by: beth at November 30, 2006 09:49 AM

Well growing up it was always the week before. Now my mom waits until we show up, so it is just a day or two before hand. And it all comes down and is put away before twelfth night.

My mother remembers that when she was a child when she went to bed on Christmas eve there was nothing, just the stockings. Her parents would spend the whole night putting up the tree and decorating the dang thing. It was utterly magical for her and her siblings on Christmas morning.

Posted by: Sarah G. at November 30, 2006 10:11 AM

I'm the pack mule of the house, so they all rely on me to hoik the thing in and set it up. It's possible that the Missus will have a go at doing it herself if I prove obstinant, so as an added precaution, I'm hiding the stand.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at November 30, 2006 10:13 AM

Christmas Eve. The only proper time to do it. Although, the last few years we have been doing it 3-4 days before, simply because there is too much to do. One week beforehand is the outer limit.
Or, you can go the easy route and just leave the dang thing up year round.

Posted by: rbj at November 30, 2006 10:14 AM

Hold fast, Robbo!

I can't understand the desire to put the dang thing up right after Thanksgiving, either. It's just way too early. I grew up putting the decorations up around the 10th or thereabouts and then keeping them up until Epiphany. The husband's family puts theirs up the day after Thanksgiving, and had no idea what Epiphany was, so it's been a power struggle since day one. What's really annoying is that lately, the husband will just go out and get a tree---and then the decorating of said tree generally falls to me because "he's not good at that sort of thing." Yet all of this happens on his timeline. Not cool.

This year we're visiting his parents for the holiday, so he knows better than to push his luck. We were offered a free tree that would be available this weekend and I told him no and there was not one peep out of him.

Posted by: Kathy at November 30, 2006 10:57 AM

Put me down for $5 on the Missus.

Posted by: Professor Chaos at November 30, 2006 11:00 AM

If this helps, we put our tree and decorations up about a week before and then take everything down on New Year's Day.

We'll get our tree soon, as Husband likes the live ones...which I hate because not only do I have needles, but mud from the tub the damn thing is in.

So...dig your feet in and stand strong!

Posted by: GroovyVic at November 30, 2006 03:37 PM

Tradition should be safeguarded. Ours is clear -- absolutely no Christmas anything until after Thanksgiving. The following Saturday, we load the four kids and grandma and an aunt or two into the truck and head off to an old tree farm. Tree for inside, tree for the deck outside, Christmas carols at full blast.

Whatever you tradition is, embrace it and share it with your kids. For me, while I love our Saturday-after-Thanksgiving stance, I can appreciate the Christmas Eve approach.

Personally, I am a bit puzzled regarding the logic of holding fast for another week in the middle. I'll spot you the beginning of Advent since we've got the extra week this year. But after that, the stubborness seems a bit random to me. Stick to Eve or capitulate.

Posted by: Cindy Loo-Who at December 1, 2006 05:00 AM