The smell of pine, unboxing the baubles, decorating with family - putting up the Christmas tree is a hallowed festive tradition for millions.
Almost as enjoyable, however, is going out to pick your tree for yourself.
Whether short and stout or tall and towering, finding the perfect Christmas tree for your home is all part of getting into the festive spirit.
Here’s all you need to know about when you should take your tree home and where to find a Christmas tree in Edinburgh.
Why do we have Christmas trees?
Evergreen fir trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years.
It was originally a Pagan tradition, when they used branches of fir trees to decorate their homes during the winter solstice.
The evergreen branches were thought to remind people of spring, even in the depths of winter.
For Christians, the tree symbolises everlasting life with God.
Some of the earliest examples of decorating Christmas trees come from Germany, where people used to decorate trees outside their homes as well.
The earliest German Christmas trees were often decorated with edible decorations, like gingerbread men and apples, as well as small ornaments.
Where can I buy a Christmas tree in Edinburgh?
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a Christmas tree in Edinburgh.
Many outlets start selling them throughout the month of November, so it’s time to start sizing up where you might want to go.
Here are a few places where you can buy a Christmas tree and for how much:
- Caring Christmas Trees, offering both collection and delivery at various locations around Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife and East Lothian, with prices starting from £35.
- Dobbies Garden Centre Edinburgh, offering both collection and delivery from its location at Melville Nurseries, Lasswade, EH18 1AZ.
- Crimbo Trees, offering click & collect or choose on the day from November 29th at The Jenners Depository, 140 Balgreen Rd, EH12 5XQ.
- IKEA Edinburgh, offering pick-up only from their Edinburgh store at Costkea Way, Loanhead, EH20 9BY.
- John Lewis Edinburgh, for delivery only and prices starting from £75.
- Homebase Craigleith, offering click & collect and delivery from Craigleith Retail Park, EH4 2LN, with prices starting from £15.
- Aldi, selling Christmas trees in store at various Edinburgh locations, starting from £14.99.
You can also often find limited numbers of real Christmas trees in larger supermarket all over the city, including Tesco and Morrisons superstores.
When should I buy a Christmas tree?
Although you might want to make your home feel like Christmas has come early, making sure you buy your tree at the right time means you can be sure your tree starts perky and green all the way through the festive season.
The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) recommends buying your Christmas tree at the beginning of December if you want it to last until the New Year.
However, tradition states that Christmas trees should be put up at the beginning of Advent, which starts on Sunday November 28th this year. You’ll have to decide which recommendation you stick to.
Be sure to keep your tree watered so that the branches don’t droop and the pines don't fall too early.