With Christmas now less than two weeks away, most people will have already spruced up their home with festive decorations.
While buying presents and stocking the cupboards with goodies are always high-up on the Christmas to-do list, deciding when to put the Christmas tree up is a task that often comes under much debate.
For some, the Christmas tree won’t make its appearance until mid to late December, while others like to start decorating much earlier to make the most of the festivities.
When should I put up my Christmas tree?
Traditionally, Christmas trees should be put up and decorated at the start of Advent, which is the season in which Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, known as Advent Sunday, and always ends on Christmas Eve (24 December).
This means that this year, Advent falls on Sunday 28 November and is the earliest date that tradition dictates you should be putting your tree up.
However, the British Christmas Tree Growers Association recommends buying your tree at the beginning of December if you want it to last throughout the festive season.
The association says trees can last up to four weeks if they are looked after properly, so if you buy it in November, you do run the risk of the pine needles dropping and your tree branches drooping by the time Christmas Day rolls around.
To be on the safe side, putting your tree up a little later, such as the first week of December, will help to keep it looking healthier for a bit longer.
For those who aren’t as eager to get the Christmas decorations up that early, there is another tradition in which people decorate their trees 12 days before the big day.
Although in the past, decorations and trees were left as late as Christmas Eve to put up as any time earlier than this was thought to be unlucky.
In Roman Catholic tradition, the Christmas tree is not put up until the afternoon on 24 December.
When should I take my Christmas tree down?
While some people might be keen to take the Christmas tree down once the big day celebrations are over, others like to hang on to that festive cheer for as long as possible.
In Christianity, the traditional date to take your Christmas tree down is twelve days after Christmas.
This is because celebrations last for 12 days from the birth of Jesus, so the Twelfth Night - or the twelfth day after Christmas - officially marks the end of the festive season.
This year, the Twelfth Night falls on Thursday 6 January.
Leaving Christmas decorations up after this date is widely considered to be unlucky.
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