The kids have pressured me many times to decorate our Christmas tree early following local custom, and I have always resisted. According to German custom the tree goes up on Christmas Eve. In fact, when I was little the door to the living room remained closed all day Christmas Eve. We knew magic happened behind those doors, we heard noises, we saw the parents going in and out and quickly closing the door again. And we couldn't wait until it got dark, until the doors were finally opened and the lit (real candles) Christmas tree was revealed to us, all sparkle and splendor, with lots of presents beautifully displayed underneath, after a whole month of Christmassy anticipation. Total magic! It was all worth the wait. Because of our busy schedules now we usually decorate our tree the week-end just before - this year it'll be this coming Sunday. But that doesn't mean that our house is any less Christmassy before the tree goes up. Actually, "es weihnachtet sehr" in our house, which translates as "it Christmasses a lot" (because Germans are very Christmassy people, this has become an actual verb). But The Tree is more special when it becomes the long awaited apotheosis of the Advent period.