It was during the reign of Queen Victoria that decorating a fir tree with baubles and candles to celebrate Christmas first became fashionable.
The tradition was to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, with superstition dictating it had to come down on the 12th night.
During the early years of the 20th century, decorations went up a week before Christmas and slowly, the tradition in this country was for decorations to go up 12 nights before and come down 12 nights after.
In the Vatican, it’s felt that December 17 is the correct time, as that is when preparations for the arrival of Jesus intensified.
As time goes on, capitalism has brought the Christmas season farther and farther away from the big day itself, hyping it sooner in a bid to make us part with more of our money!
It’s been a fascinating debate this week on the radio. When should the decorations go up? Is it too early for Christmas songs?
The general feeling is that yes, November is far too soon. In fact, forcing Christmas on to people too early can have a negative effect. Did I hear a ‘bah, humbug’ there?
The older I get, the more cynical I become, wanting to return to the more traditional values of Christmas, with goodwill to all men (and women).
But why, this year, has the Christmas bug hit me so early? It’s normally the week before that I feel like this.
I really want to put the decorations up this weekend, I fancy hearing a bit of Mariah Carey and I’ve suggested to the other half we take a trip to Bath to do our shopping.
Christmas doesn’t seem to be rammed down our throats so much this year in my mind. Subtler ‘family scene’ adverts on the telly and the wonderful John Lewis advert with The Power Of Love song have conveyed a feeling of togetherness at Christmas, rather than the ‘gorge of greed’ as I’ve heard it described!
So forgive my enthusiasm as I embrace Christmas early this year.
Now I’m going to disappear into the loft to dust off the tree, accompanied by a bit of Bing Crosby singing that old classic White Christmas!