working out the Christmas tree thing

  When i was growing up, December was the month of parties.
  Grownup parties, that is.
  We  put up our tree on the day after Thanksgiving and by the first Sunday in December our house was filled with people.  First it was my mom's sorority Christmas party, and we often had my parents' Sunday school class over.  Closer to Christmas, we had my dad's family in.  Since he was part of a large family who pretty much all had large families, that was a houseful.
  Seldom, though, did my mom's family come.  Her sister had claimed that event, barring the emergency of my dad being on call for the holiday.
  Our Christmas tree went up early, and stayed up late.  It was a central prop for the parties, complete with the Nativity set beneath.

  When i married, there was a bit of culture shock at Christmas time.
  Our tree was always, within my memory anyway, an artificial one, accompanied by the brief but passionate tale from my mom of The Year the Christmas Tree Burned.  
  For some reason i am uncomfortable in a home with a "live" tree.
  Do you see what's coming?
  MyGuy had grown up having one of those "live" trees every year.  With much grumbling, he acquiesced to the "fake" one, admitting that real ones had drawbacks.  Sure, they smell nice, but you have to   buy a new one every time and keep it watered and vacuum up needles.  Never mind fire hazards!

   The really difficult thing, though, was the timing of setting it up.  You see, he didn't just want to wait unti December.  MyGuy says if you get out Christmas stuff too early, you wear out the season.  To not "wear out the season," that means waiting until at least the 20th, preferably the 21st or 2nd.
  It took years for him to reallize that, for me, there could be no shopping, Christmas cards, any preparation whatever, without that tree in place.  There were a few years along the way where we didn't put one up at all, because if you wait until the 20th, there is simply no point.  

It hasn't always been easy.  It was really hard to not put a tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but i eventually realized that doing it that early is not an option.  
  So we worked it out.  Eventually.  Compromise.  We're worth it.
  Christmas is too important to fight over.

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