Our son came home from school demanding to know when we were doing our tree: "Christmas is in 8 DAYS!"
"Talk to your father."
We did it! We got the tree up. Honestly, it goes faster than all the other decorating we do. (What am I saying? I do all the decorating, except the tree.) Since the tree pretty much sits right in the middle of the living room, I don't want to deal with it for an entire month. My daughter has her own little tree upstairs that she decorates by herself. When she was younger, she just hung some of her little toys on it.
The kids still always hang their ornaments in one spot on the tree, although they are getting better about it. Our tree is totally full of ornaments. I learned a long time ago to have a Sharpie handy to put the year they each were received or made. Our son thought it was cool to climb under the tree and hang ornaments on the underside.... I had to move those. It isn't finished until we get my Grandma M's thread crochet snowflakes on the tips of the branches.
Now that the tree is up, we move our nightly advent ritual into that room. We even drag out our Christmas Carol songsheets. The kids are so excited! Doing all these rituals is a great way to take the focus off of gifts and Santa for the kids. I am not at all against Santa though. We don't find that Santa interferes with our spiritual goals at all.
My house looks so dark in photos.... I still haven't found the magic setting on my camera.