Polly has spent her entire life writing and has since become a freelancer, focusing on a variety of topics such as
dining and entertainment to pets and travel. When not writing and honing in on her craft as a chocolatier, she studies
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|Created Tuesday, November 29, 2016; filed under Commentary.
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|So When Are We Trimming the Tree??
If your Christmas tree is not up already, this is
the week when the second highest percentage
of tree trimmers put up their Christmas trees.
The first group are those that have their tree up
in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone has
their opinion as to when it is the right time to
drag out the plastic ‘evergreen’ from the garage,
put it together, add ornaments, lights and a few
personal touches. The third group are those
that wait until December.
I do not know when the right time for tree
trimming is. I base my tree trimming
appointment on the type of tree. What?? Yes!
It depends on the tree!
If the tree is fresh cut with short needleless from a lot, then it goes up two weeks before
Christmas. If we have the tree cut for us, then it can go up anytime the cutter is available after
Thanksgiving, preferably the first or second week in December. Live trees need a lot of attention.
But they aren’t really live once they are cut down. They require constant water and should not be
allowed to dry out. Long needle trees are the hardest to deal with. The long needles can poke and
scratch when you attempt to water and trim away any dead needles. I prefer they go up the week
before Christmas and come down December 26. They just require more care than I am prepared
to give. They are hard to keep from drying out and the needles must be picked up from the floor
by hand. Short needles can be vacuumed up. Plastic trees can go up anytime you feel like
decorating for Christmas. But I like my holidays separate. So, I put up my plastic tree the
weekend after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday, the first Christmas shopping day, was truly Black Friday when I was a child. The
stores opened at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. Moms would drag their kids out of one store and into
the next and from department to department. Every store would be crowded. Every store would
be hotter than the one before and you sweated more than if you were digging ditches. No sane
mother would be putting up a tree on Black Friday. Besides, you would have to go to the
Christmas tree lot on the other side of town. Sometimes parents picked out the tree together.
Most times your father just brought it home as his contribution to the Christmas chores. Along with
putting together the bicycles, rocking horses, doll houses and other toys. And he had to do
whatever else Mama needed him to do or couldn’t handle on her own. But the tree trimming was
her job. And the tree would not go up until every wall and floor was washed and scrubbed. Every
corner you could see where they met. (No dirt or wax build-up in our house.) The house had to
be dust and clutter free. You would think the president was coming.
Anyway, with all the preparation and cleaning diligently directed by Mama, our lot-picked tree went
up around the second week of December. But not one minute before the window it was to stand in
shown like new spun glass. And the sill was washed down over and over, then finally with a rag
wrung almost dry. No streaky sill. No dirt that had settled from the summer remained. The tree
was a work of art and the frame it hung in was just as grand. A great deal of effort went into the
family Christmas tree and its presentation. None of that work was going to be overshadowed by a
So, the right time to put up the Christmas tree? You can trim your plastic tree at whatever time it
rocks your Yuletide world. But count me in the third highest group. Give me a Colorado pine.
Either a Douglas fir or a blue spruce sometime in December. Then count me in the third highest
Yule rocking group!