Our tree is already up – has been since * before* Advent – altho’ mainly because we wanted to see how our cat would react to it.
I call it a “Christmas Tree” because that is what I’ve always called it; I wouldn’t call it an “Advent bush” because that’s a neologism for me. Besides, the tree is pretty much a secular symbol that has been adopted by the Church. I see no real difference between putting up a tree and putting up mistletoe, Yule logs, snowmen, or Santa and eight/nine/ten reindeer. Or Americans who put up flags and wear tricorn hats in early July to celebrate that little unpleasantness in the colonies.
I mean, if I eat a chocolate bunny too early, does it become a “Lenten bunny”? :shrug:
Our creche is going up very soon – with the animals in it. (Technically, you could leave the empty creche up year round, as one can assume the real stable existed before the Nativity and continued to exist thereafter). Christmas Eve, before I go to Midnight Mass, Mary and Joseph will go in. After I come home from Mass, the infant Jesus. The shepherds come later, then after them, the Magi.
I do agree though that secularly (especially commercially) speaking, there is a super-saturation of Christmasy stuff (music, decorations, etc) – this is to a degree understandable, since the week before Christmas is too late to start selling decorations, presents, etc. I do believe, however, that the season is starting far too early, and I hear many complaints from customers (I work retail :() that they are getting overwhelmed and overloaded by the start of December. (I’m lucky – trapped as I am in the checkout line, I only see such Christmas decorations as are brought to me for purchase, and I have to a great degree managed to tune out the incessant – and for a large part, bad – Christmas music).
And yet, despite it all, I look forward to coming home each day and turning on my little tree, and basking in the glow of its tiny lights, and just letting a warm feeling of peace and anticipation come over me. It’s like a visual spa. And I look even more forward to the day that I put the Infant in the creche.