Author Topic: When to Put up Christmas Decorations  (Read 1698 times)

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Offline LizaSymonenko

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When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« on: December 16, 2009, 04:54:35 PM »

Hi folks!

I have a question concerning putting up decorations for Christmas.  Our church always has a tree, greenery, wreaths, etc.

We celebrate January 7th.

The kids' parents requested that the tree go up this coming Sunday after Liturgy, after St. Nicholas visits (Dec. 20).  Most parishioners wouldn't see it until the next Sunday.  The following Sunday would be the 27th, and since many children are out of school that week, the families will be off on vacation, skiing, etc.  Since the children wanted to participate in preparing the church, this leaves me with a dilemma.

Is it proper or even acceptable to have the tree up a few weeks before the Nativity Celebration? 

I figured we might just put the tree up with the kids, and leave the rest of the lights, greenery, etc for a later date.

When I mentioned this, a few individuals in the church were aghast and upset.  I was accused of collaborating with American society and supporting "Latin" Christmas by decorating before December 25th.  It's not proper to have any decorations up during Lent, etc.

I completely understand.  However, is it truly wrong to put up just the tree?

What about a couple wreaths on the outside gates?  If I were the people living across the street from the church, I would think that those Orthodox don't even celebrate Christmas.  Everything all around is lit up, but, we don't even display a wreath, yet.

I would truly appreciate your opinions on this matter.

Please, don't tell me to go and ask the priest.  I don't want him to get stuck in the middle of it.  We have some very opinionated parishioners and I don't want his name tarnished in any of their discussions.

Thanks for your help.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline Cymbyz

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 05:30:33 PM »
I think it would be appropriate to put up decorations in time for the Sunday of the Forefathers and leave them up till the Apodosis of Theophany.
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Offline John of the North

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 05:36:06 PM »
Was it Christmas Tree in 19th century Russia?! IS OUTRAGE!


Sorry, I couldn't resist!
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 11:42:32 AM »

Thanks, Cymbyz!  Sunday of the Forefathers falls on the 27th for us, which will be perfect!

Ukiemeister, Russia has nothing to do with this.  It's a Ukrainian church!   ;)

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 12:54:14 PM »

We have some very opinionated parishioners

Opinionated parishoners? In a Ukrainian parish?! *SHOCKING!!!!* :P :laugh:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 01:56:05 PM »

Hard to believe, isn't it?

 ;D


Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Rosehip

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 02:02:24 PM »
LO!!! :D
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 06:35:00 PM »
Liza, put up decorations when you want to, and take them down when you want to. You don't live in a monastery, so decorate your own house how you see fit. Perhaps this is not what is done in Ukraine, but you're not in Ukraine. Here we put up decorations at the beginning of Advent and take them down after Christmas. Since that is our tradition, you're just fine if you participate in our custom.
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Offline Michael L

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 07:10:27 PM »
My goal is to usually have the Christmas Tree up by St. Nicholas Day and down by Theophany, but that is more in line with my American upbringing (when I was a kid mom had it up right after Thanksgiving). I don't necessarily think that this is playing into the New Calendar Christmas Conspiracy. LOL!

Also, like many other converts to Orthodoxy, my family and friends celebrate Christmas on the New Calendar and I feel it is important to celebrate with them (my fast is put to the test).  However, I know it is the Ukrainian, Russian, and coincidentally Polish (albeit new calendar) custom to put the Christmas Tree up on Christmas Eve. So if you where going to put the tree up a couple of weeks early I don't see why Dec. 20th would be any worse then the 27th. I know it is important to be sensitive to Old Country customs but I don't see anything wrong with having the tree up by Dec. 6/Dec. 19 for St. Nicholas day.

Either way I hope that you and your parish remember that what is truly important is that we a prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus!

Offline basilthefool

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Re: When to Put up Christmas Decorations
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 10:28:39 PM »
Before my dear wife fell asleep in the Lord, we usually set up the decorations on the evening of the Sunday before Nativity (Sunday night). We kept them up until after Liturgy on the Feast of Theophany.