I know some families wait until Gaudete Sunday to put their tree up. It seems like a good time to put up a tree. But our family is still waiting until as close to Christmas Eve as possible. We will probably put our tree up on the 23rd.
The past few years with little ones, I didn't want the tree up any earlier than necessary. The less time to be tempting with breakable ornaments, the better. We don't have that problem this year, but I still want to wait.
When the box comes from Santa (aka Grandma) we put it away until after church on Christmas Day. The Lambs have a lot of fun putting the presents under the tree while Ram makes crepes. After crepes then we take our time opening the presents. People are usually surprised when they see us at church on Christmas Day that we have not opened ANY presents yet.
Last year I did a lot of the Christmas preparations at the last possible minute. This year the presents were all shipped to family with plenty of time. We've already made several kinds of Christmas cookies. The Lambs have enjoyed doing some crafty Christmas projects. We started reading from our huge collection of Christmas books-both religious and ones like Amelia Bedelia. We've begun listening to Christmas hymns on the radio and CDs. I don't know when in all our other preparations we would have had time to put the tree up.
When weather canceled all the church services at Christmas time last year for us, I realized what is important at Christmas time. I will always have this photo in my memory for Christmas 2009.
It just isn't the same to sing Silent Night at home with your family as singing it at a Candlelight Christmas Eve service.
No, our tree is not up yet, and I don't mind answering that to people that ask.