In our house Christmas is celebrated according to the Julian calendar. So now is the time of preparation for Christmas.
‘Vanka gave a tremulous sigh, and again stared at the window. He remembered how his grandfather always went into the forest to get the Christmas tree for his master’s family, and took his grandson with him. It was a merry time! Grandfather made a noise in his throat, the forest crackled with the frost, and looking at them Vanka chortled too. Before chopping down the Christmas tree, grandfather would smoke a pipe, slowly take a pinch of snuff, and laugh at frozen Vanka. . . . The young fir trees, covered with hoar frost, stood motionless, waiting to see which of them was to die. Wherever one looked, a hare flew like an arrow over the snowdrifts . . . . Grandfather could not refrain from shouting: “Hold him, hold him . . . hold him! Ah, the bob-tailed devil!”
When he had cut down the Christmas tree, grandfather used to drag it to the big house, and there set to work to decorate it.’
Vanka by Anton Chekhov