Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

More than any other time of the year, this is the time when we throw open our doors to welcome friends and family . . . with cookies, spirits and other fancies. This generosity of spirit is the very essence of the yuletide season. The traditions of Christmas have changed over time, ever since young men and women left their village to marry.

Celebrating Christmas as a new bride, I was surprised that we did not share the same rituals. For example, the tree. In his family, the tree was decorated on Christmas Eve, none of the children participated in trimming the tree. Late on Christmas Eve, the children came down the stairs to see the spectacular sight – a tree aglow wit candlelight. And it is true, there is nothing quite like seeing a Christmas tree lit only with candles. It is soft and ethereal. But . .