Although traditionally the decorations and tree should not arrive until Christmas eve, these days there is so much to do the day before THE DAY, that most people get their house looking seasonal days and sometimes weeks before. Our daughter is coming home from Ireland tonight, so we have put the tree in the window, the twinkly lights outside, and decorations inside.
The Atora Christmas book from 1933 has this to say about decorations:
It is Christmas Eve and all hands have been enlisted in the work of decorating the house with evergreens. The practice is very ancient indeed, dating back to the Roman Saturnalia, and the Feast of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun. The Norsemen too, celebrated the Feast of the Winter Solstice – the time at which the days begin to lengthen – under the name of Yol or Yule. The greenery within the house was supposed to make a retreat for the wood gods and goddesses from storms and winter cold. At one time evergreens were discouraged in Christian households, owing to these pagan associations, but for hundreds of years now their use in our country at Christmas has become universal!
… and this is what was written about the tree:
Wherever there are children, there is one adjunct indispensable to Christmas celebrations, and that is the Christmas Tree. Always popular in Germany, it was not known in England until Queen Victoria’s reign, when the Prince Consort introduced it to the Royal palace.
A thing of beauty in itself, standing there in the corner,gaily decorated, its branches bending beneath its burden of gifts, the Christmas Tree gives an air of festivity to any room. When dusk fa;;s, it is brought forward to its rightful place, a ring is formed, young hands are joined and the gaily coloured candles are lit. Then truly, to the children dancing round it, the loveliness of the Christmas Tree increases, and it becomes a radiant vision of splendour.