Contrary to the ad, I don't think too many people in 2011 remember when candles were used to light the tree (unless they traveled to the present in a time machine).
****Speaking of Christmas trees, the spouse and I have different opinions about when to put them up.
Her tradition while growing up was for her family to do it the day after Thanksgiving.
Now if I remember correctly, my family waited until it was closer to Christmas – maybe 4 or 5 days – before putting it up. We didn't like to rush it. After all, it was something special that you only did once a year. We didn't want to get tired of looking at it.
We would decorate the tree while listening to holiday music as part of the ritual (possibly Herb Albert's Christmas Album, which was a favorite in our house). And we did it very reverently and carefully – making sure certain special ornaments got a prime location and were positioned close to a light. Tinsel (the old-fashioned kind that you saw in the 1960's) had to be carefully and evenly draped – not merely slung – over a branch.
Nowadays, as a compromise with the spouse, I put up and decorate our tree around the second week of December.... and then we pretty much ignore it until Christmas! I have to really make an effort to remember to plug it in, despite Reddy's advice.
Now, our cats don't ignore the tree, and make shambles of it daily. Both Louie and Boo Boo could hardly contain their excitement watching me put it up! And I was just asking for trouble when I decorated it with small bird ornaments.
As of last week, amazingly, only one ornament had been destroyed. Louie filched a lightweight cardinal ornament (made out of some kind of styrofoam) from the display, roughed him up and dumped him – Mafia style – in his water dish.
We found the poor bird floating appropriately in a pool of bright red water.
This week it's been a whole nother story. I came home Monday night and the tree was toppled! All of the little bird ornaments – the cardinals and bluejays – had been stripped and were AWOL. The garland was half torn-off and the lights were a mess. So I grumpily took everything off the tree.
And today, Christmas Eve – I'm going to start all over again and redecorate it. Hopefully this isn't the start of a new tradition.