For my English and American readers, this post may be a little bewildering, but I've been recently asked various times why I put up my Christmas tree so early (mid-December) and here's why.
In Austria, can you believe it, it is customary to only decorate the tree on the 24th of December, maybe the 23rd. I have never quite understood why, as the day of Christmas Eve is stressful enough without having to trim the tree, right?
When I first had my own Christmas tree in our first flat, I put it up two weeks prior to Christmas, and I've done so ever since. I know that in America and the UK, it is pretty much normal to put up the tree so early, and I can only advocate it, so why do I do it the British-American way and not adapt to the Austrian way?
I am a sucker for Christmas, like my mother. For me there is nothing more wonderful than the festive season and I cannot get enough Falalalala in the running up to Christmas. I love it all. Christmas music, punch, choosing presents for everyone, wrapping, baking cookies, putting up fairy lights, choosing a tree - it is an immense joy for me and our entire family.
The Christmas tree symbolises this festive cheer perfectly, in my opinion, as it twinkles with lights, shows off my most precious baubles and emanates that Christmassy forest smell I love so much. So why not make the most of it?
As much as I love Christmas, I love pre-Christmas even more. The run-up to the holiday, the time of cocoa, snuggling up, lighting the advent wreath, opening the calendar, enjoying looking at the tree while watching Christmas movies. It's truly the most wonderful time of the year. A Christmas tree makes every living room cosier - in fact, I chose to put up THREE Christmas trees this year, one in the kitchen, the balcony and the living room - so I bring in this Christmassy warmth as early as a real-life tree allows (and I absolutely hate fake trees, I mean, what's the point).
So while most Austrians can only admire their trees from the 24th December to the 6th January, I can relish the Christmas season already, and my heart warms every time I look at the twinkling tree, hailing Christmas.
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