He Said, She Said: When should you put up your Christmas tree?

*The most exciting thing about He Said, She Said is wondering if we’ll still be married by the end of each post! We both write on the same topic but only get to read the other’s work after it’s published.*

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas decorations - tree

He Said:

As late as possible. It gives you something to blame it on when you forget to take it down in January.

She Said:

I wish it could be Christmas every day.

khol_photographer on Flickr- Christmas tree

Image from kohl_photographer via Flickr.

What’s more, he says:

My family have always had artificial trees. It’s an ethical thing. We bought ones that were as lifelike as possible, but still…

It wasn’t until I met Mrs Romance, whose folks have always had real trees, that I experienced the strange smells, the millions of sharp, toe-stabbing needles and the impossible-to-decorate branches I now know proper Christmas trees provide.

It would always take ages to get my mum and dad to put the tree up when I was a kid. It meant my dad having to get up a ladder, clamber into the loft, drag the big box covered in almost exactly one year’s worth of dust to the hatch, and then try and work out how to lower the box down and climb to the ground at the same time. The problem was the box was almost as big as the hatch hole.

I think it was around this time I learnt my first swearwords!

It then fell to Mum and me to cover every perceivable green bit of the tree in tinsel, baubles, miniature santas and ‘snowflakes’ I’d made at school that year from dried pasta.

By this point, we had just enough time to shove all our presents under the tree before we’d have to pile them into the car and drive to my grandparents’ for Christmas Eve.

Mrs Romance, on the other hand, would have the Christmas tree up all year if she could. I remember our first Christmas together in our own place very vividly. I think the tree went up in late September!

And another thing, she says:

Sorry for quoting the bad Christmas songs, but I really do love Christmas.

My birthday is in December and I was named Christina because I was born so close to Christmas.

Growing up in Australia, we would get a real tree every year. It was around my birthday, a week before Christmas, that we would buy a tree and start to decorate. It’s just too hot and real trees don’t last long in the Australian summer. I would have to patiently wait each year to break out the box of old decorations, and add to the tree the new decoration I’d made at school that year.

When Mr R and I got a place of our own, I was so excited about decorating for Christmas. We decided to buy a plastic tree for lots of reasons. But a plastic tree also means there’s no longer an enforced time to put up decorations.

I think the first year we waited until 1 December but the second year I went a little crazy. We already had the tree and as the shops had started selling decorations in September, I figured it was fair game to put the tree up early.

But how early is too early?

That second year I put the tree up on 1 November and set about making some new Christmas decorations. We had a tropical theme for our summer Christmas and let’s just say there were lots of hot pink baubles with a bit of orange and gold thrown in. It was a bit cray cray.

Since then, I’ve become more relaxed about Christmas. This year our tree will go up on 1 December and I think that’s early enough.

If your tree is up too long, I think it loses that magical Christmas glow. It feels a little less special.

I’m not going to laugh at you Christmas fanatics for putting decorations up in November, but I draw the line there. October is too early these days.

liis_klammer on Flickr - Christmas tree

Image by liis_klammer via Flickr.

Do you celebrate Christmas, and what date do you put up your tree?


  • Reply November 23, 2013


    I can’t wait to put up my Xmas tree – I put up two: one little fake one at my tiny, hovel apartment and a full size (still fake) at my parent’s house. My tiny, hovel apartment one isn’t half as good, nor does it have the best decorations (I need to steal some from my childhood collection), but I had to have it when I moved out, it felt weird NOT having one!

    I do Dec 1st too, I think it’s the perfect day to open the boxes up and get your Christmas on!

    • Reply November 24, 2013

      Mr Romance

      Wow! Sounds like you go as Chrimbo loco as Mrs Romance, Georgia! I like the idea of two Christmas trees though. It’s a bit like having a yacht and a little boat you can zip about in… not that I have either!
      Our tree is growing about two new decorations heavier every year. We try and buy new ones each year. We head towards the kitsch than the elegant. This year we spotted some excellent stuff in an art gallery. They’re so wrong they’re right!

  • Reply November 25, 2013


    This was going to be the year we got a big, proper tree…and then we got a puppy! So instead I’ve bought a medium sized tree which will sit on the floating shelf in our open plan back room, so that a certain puppy named after a certain Italian coast won’t go pulling it down on himself or making a meal of the baubles!
    As for when the tree goes up – my rule is no earlier than 1 December. Like Mrs R, I think that’s just the right amount of time to enjoy the Christmas spirit without overdosing.
    As for when the tree comes down – whenever I can be bothered!

    • Reply November 28, 2013

      Mr Romance

      I can see how Amalfi would stop you from indulging in a full Douglas fir, Sonia. Though I think if she was left alone with our tree for long enough, even a floating shelf wouldn’t stop Mrs R from pulling the whole thing down on herself and eating all the baubles. She gets that excited about Christmas!
      Good luck with your very cute little puppy. He’s going to go mad when it comes to the 25th! All that excitement and wrapping paper – our dogs used to go wild at Christmas. Just make sure you get lots of Insta vids of him!

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    We usually put up the tree a day or two before New Year, a week max. There’s just always no time and we put it off. I live in Ukraine and Christmas is January 7 for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, so Christmas is after New Year’s Eve. I can’t say I like it very well, I think that Catholic and Protestant Christmas in December is better because for us it’s always kind of shadowed by New Year’s celebrations. But it’s a Soviet inheritance we can’t get rid of. Back then, there was no Xmas, just New Year’s eve, and people are only growing back into Xmas again…

    • Reply November 28, 2013

      Mr Romance

      Wow! That’s really interesting, Maryna! I didn’t know the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does Christmas differently. What day do you exchange gifts? Is there a traditional gift that goes with the festive season in the Ukraine?

  • Reply November 29, 2013


    Here it is a kind of rule to put up no Christmas decoration before the last Sunday before Advent. In Germany, where I live and grew up, this is the day to commemorate the dead (it is called “Totensonntag”). In the malls decorations are put up before though – for commercial reasons I think. Even most Christmas markets won’t open before the day after that certain Sunday. I kind of like having this kind of start date for decorating our apartment because it means no discussions with my s.o. 😉 The tree is put up on Christmas Eve (in the morning) at my parents’ house where I usually spend the Holidays. Decorating the tree has always been my job and for me is an integral part of Christmas as it really helps getting into the right mood.

    • Reply November 29, 2013

      Mr Romance

      Hi Rike. I think having these traditions is really important to a culture. It’s nice that everyone – even the shops – still observe them. I’m not surprised the shopping malls have their decorations up before then though. They seem to be going up earlier and earlier every year in Australia. Soon they’ll just leave them up all year!
      Good luck with this year’s tree. Hope you have a lovely festive season!

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