Tuesday, 14 December 2010

December - Oh Christmas tree

027Christmas tree Chez Hesadevil.

For the past three years, I have bought a lemon-scented cyprus and decorated it with a simple string of white lights. On the twelfth day of Christmas, each tree was put outside and, when the ground was soft enough, planted in the garden. Unfortunately, only the first tree has survived, the others succombing to wind burn in the cold weather.

Tradition says it is bad luck to leave any greenery in the house after twelfth night, but when does tradition say it should be brought in?

Pagan Winter Solstice celebrations (21st December) often included bringing a tree indoors to proivide shelter for the gods/elves/nature spirits.

In the Catholic tradition the Christmas tree is put up after noon on Christmas eve and in some communities it is put up on the 6th of December in honour of Saint Nicholas.

As Christmas becomes more a consumer-fest than Christian observance, the 'lighting' of trees is happening earlier and earlier. Trafalgar Square's famous gift from Norway was lit on December 2nd this year, and the Oxford Street lights switched on in November, the evening before Bonfire Night.

I'm not sure how I feel about two months of 'Christmas' festivities. Something has been lost amid the countdown of 'shopping days left'. Scrooge may be a fictional character but I feel a 'bah, humbug' coming on in reaction to the relentless pursuit of profit.