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The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals on tech, clothing, home and more

Black Friday is notorious for crowded shopping malls, long lines and total madness. But if the adrenaline rush of the post-Thanksgiving shopping day doesn’t appeal to you, Cyber Monday is another (almost) stress-free option for anyone looking to save big bucks on holiday gifts this year.

>> Read more trending news 

To get the best deals this Monday — and during Cyber Week — you’ll need quick fingers and a proper guide to the best discounts. 

After scouring ads from multiple retailers across a variety of categories, we picked some deals you just can’t miss this Cyber Monday.

» RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now

Travel deals

The Cloister at Sea Island on the southern coast of Georgia is offering a Cyber Monday special for guests who book two or more nights between Jan. 2 and Feb. 28, 2018. In honor of their 90th birthday in 2018, the resort is giving guests 90 percent off their third night. Rates are typically $395 per night.

Guests at The Cloister will also receive 10 percent off all activities, free breakfast and complimentary wine tastings in January and February. (Forbes)

Intrepid Travel is also offering 15 percent off more than 1,000 trips in 120 countries for solo, family and culinary travel groups. Popular adventure tour group destinations include Vietnam, Machu Picchu, Morocco, India’s Golden Triangle and the Northern Lights.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Get these Walmart deals on laptops, TVs and more now

The Intrepid Travel cyber sale launched Monday and will continue through Nov. 30 for travel between Feb. 1 and Sept. 30 of 2018. (Forbes)

Liberty Travel is holding a cyber sale beginning Friday through Monday with more than 500 deals with savings up to 66 percent off tours, cruises and several destinations.

See more travel deals at Forbes.com.

Tech deals

Google Home: Priced at $79 in Google’s online store from 12:01 a.m. EST Thanksgiving Day to 11:59 p.m. PST on Cyber Monday. Regular price: $129

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Best Buy ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Dell 15.6” Inspiron 15 3000 laptop with Intel Celeron: $199.99. Regular price: $299.99. Dell will have hourly doorbusters on Cyber Monday, and if you order online at Dell.com, you’ll receive free shipping on any order.

Samsung 65” Curved 4K Smart HDR Ultra HDTV: $999.99. Regular price: $1,499.99. At Dell.com.

GameStop has promised lots of deals on your favorite games, consoles, systems, electronics and more. The cyber sale begins Monday, Nov. 27 and ends Dec. 1. Offers will go live at GameStop.com.

Costco’s popular deals on laptops, TVs and more end Monday, Nov. 27, so catch them before they go. Save up to $250 on laptops from HP and Asus, up to $300 on 40- and 70-inch TVs from Vizio and enjoy bundle deals on the Playstation 4 and Xbox.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Get these Macy’s deals on clothes, appliances and more now

Apparel and accessories deals

Ann Taylor’s Cyber Monday sale begins Sunday at 5 p.m. EST and ends Monday at 11:59 p.m. You’ll get 50 percent off your entire purchase and free shipping.

Banana Republic is also offering 50 percent off everything online on Cyber Monday.

H&M customers will receive 30 percent off online Monday.

JCPenney kicks off its Cyber Monday sale on Saturday, Nov. 25 and it doesn’t end until Wednesday, Nov. 29. The retailer is offering 25 percent off Nike shoes and apparel, 45-65 percent off fine jewelry and 60 percent off women’s sweaters. JCPenney cardholders will receive additional discounts.

»RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Costco ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked 

Nordstrom is offering an additional 20 percent off select sale items beginning at 12:01 a.m. PST on Cyber Monday until 11:59 p.m. PST.

Old Navy is offering 50 percent off everything online exclusively on Cyber Monday. The retailer is kicking off its 72-hour cyber sale on Saturday, Nov. 25. On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll receive 40 percent off everything at oldnavy.com.

Saks Off 5th is giving online customers 50 percent off select apparel and accessories, and an additional 60 percent off cold-weather items.

See more apparel and accessories Cyber Monday deals at Glamour.com.

Home and lifestyle deals

AncestryDNA is offering its kit for $59 from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Regular price: $99.

HelloFresh: Enjoy 40 percent off your first HelloFresh box using code MONDAY40.

Crate & Barrel: Enjoy 15 percent off full price items using code SAVE15 and enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase.

Be sure to check other retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and Kohl’s for ongoing online deals through next week.

» RELATED: AJC’s special edition Thanksgiving newspaper is a must-have for money-saving holiday deals

Dog owners less likely to die of heart attacks, study suggests

Owning a dog could quite literally save your life, a new study has revealed.

>> Read more trending news

Dog owners who live alone have a 36 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those without dogs. When it comes to dog owners who live with family members, the risk decreases by 15 percent.

"A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household," Mwenya Mubanga, a study author and PhD student at Uppsala University in Sweden, told CNN.

» RELATED: This Texas woman’s heart literally broke when her dog died, doctors say

Published in “Scientific Reports,” the study was conducted by researchers in Sweden who examined medical and pet ownership records of 3.4 million people. Those analyzed by the study were between 40 and 80 years old. Participants were followed for up to 12 years, with around 13 percent owning pet dogs.

Researchers also noted that individuals who owned dogs originally bred for hunting, such as terriers, retrievers and scent hounds, saw even greater benefits. It's unclear exactly why this is, but researchers suggest that these breeds require more exercise, meaning the owner is necessarily more active and healthier.

» RELATED: Research shows why kids feel the loss of a pet so deeply

However, while the study clearly shows correlation between dog ownership and better heart health, it may not necessarily prove causation.

"These kind of epidemiological studies look for associations in large populations but do not provide answers on whether and how dogs could protect from cardiovascular disease," Tove Fall, a professor at Uppsala University and senior author of the study, told the BBC.

» RELATED: Research shows why kids feel the loss of a pet so deeply

"There might also be differences between owners and non-owners already before buying a dog, which could have influenced our results, such as those people choosing to get a dog tending to be more active and of better health."

At the same time, previous research has also pointed to the positive health benefits of owning dogs. For example, one study showed that children with dogs at home had a 15 percent reduced risk of asthma. Authors of that study suggested this was due to the "hygiene hypothesis," which posits that too clean of an environment actually increases an individual's susceptibility to allergies.

» RELATED: Sheriff: Toddler’s dog stayed with him while he was missing

In fact, the authors of the new study also said a possible reason for the positive effect of dogs on the heart may be connected to bacteria. According to the researchers, dogs actually change the dirt in their owners’ environment, meaning they may also influence their owner's bacterial microbiome. This collection of microscopic species lives in the gut and may benefit cardiovascular health.

But perhaps the biggest factor the research points to is the social aspect of owning a dog.

» RELATED: Ever wonder why dogs are so darn friendly? Science says it’s in their genes

"[Dog ownership] may encourage owners to improve their social life, and that in itself will reduce their stress level, which we know absolutely is a primary cause for cardiovascular disease and cardiac events," Dr. Rachel Bond, associate director of women's heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told CNN.

And of course, dogs definitely increase an individual's overall happiness.

» RELATED: 7 dog hacks for pet parents in the city 

"As many dog owners may agree, the main reason for owning a dog is the sheer joy," Dr. Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation told BBC.

"Dog ownership has many benefits, and we may now be able to count better heart health as one of them,” she said.

» RELATED: Do people care more about suffering dogs than suffering humans?

10 tips on shipping packages during the holiday season

Braving the crowds on Black Friday may be the easiest part of holiday shopping. Shipping packages to gift receivers around the country can be a huge challenge – both in getting the gifts there in one piece and in keeping your budget under control.

RELATED: 10 tips for Black Friday shopping

Watch the video

Here are 10 tips to help you ship your gifts.

1. Buy something you can mail easily

This seems like you’re buying for you and not them, but odds are there is something on your recipient’s list that is easy to ship through the mail.

Even with the right packing precautions, it’s always safer to buy items you know can survive a bumpy trip through the mail. Apparel, shoes and most toys are a safe bet.

2. Know the rules

The United States Postal Service has restrictions on what can be shipped, both internationally and domestically. Some things, such as ammunition, are completely prohibited, while other things, such as nail polish and perfumes, have restrictions.

Find out more at usps.com/ship/shipping-restrictions.htm.

3. Pay attention to the box

Make sure to use a new, sturdy box that’s a few inches larger than your gift on all sides to allow for plenty of packing materials. Using that box that’s been in the basement all year can result in your gifts cascading out at the wrong moment.

The Postal Service estimates that a crease can reduce a box’s strength by as much as 70 percent.

4. Buy good packing material

The Postal Service suggests using higher-performing cushioning materials made of polyethylene or polyurethane. Basic polystyrene cushioning can endure only one impact.

Using stronger, but thinner cushioning is better because you can use a smaller box and save on shipping costs if the price is based on the package’s dimensions and weight.

Newspaper is not a great choice, because it flattens, but it’s good for wrapping fragile items and separating them from other items in the box.

5. Shake it good

You want your packing job to result in a tight fit. Use at least 1 inch of cushioning around the item—top, bottom and all four sides—to fill in any air spaces. There should be very little movement when you shake the box.

The key point is to keep the gift items as far away from the box’s walls as possible. When you have a very fragile item, use two boxes, and cushion around the inner box with at least 3 inches of packing peanuts.

6. Know your deadlines

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for the Postal Service. These are the dates they recommend shipping items in the contiguous United States to make sure they arrive on time.

  • USPS Retail Ground: Dec. 14
  • First Class Mail: Dec. 19 (Alaska Dec. 20; Hawaii Dec. 15)
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 20 (Alaska Dec. 20; Hawaii Dec. 15)
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 22 (Alaska Dec. 21; Hawaii Dec. 20)

For more information on shipping to the rest of the world, visit www.usps.com/holiday.

7. Flat-rate is your friend

FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service all offer flat-rate boxes, meaning that you can pack as much as you can into a box and ship it for one price. However, these do come with some limits – for example, UPS and the USPS only allows up to 70 pounds, while FedEx only allows 50 pounds.

8. Look for deals

Do a little shopping around before you ship. Some places, such as PostNet stores, will help you compare shipping prices. You can also do this online at sites such as Shipgooder.com.

USPS, FedEx and UPS also have tools on their websites to estimate shipping costs.

9. Avoid missed packages

If you want to help your recipient avoid unwanted snooping from neighbors or children, consider sending the gift to their workplace. If it’s meant for kids, that’ll help keep it away from prying eyes. It will also help people from missing deliveries at home.

Keep your tracking numbers handy so you can pinpoint the package’s destination and lets its recipients know when to look out for it.

10. Consider insurance

Santa’s delivery service isn’t always perfect, so it’s worth considering insurance on whatever you’re shipping.

Ask your shipper about insurance or a declared-value option. The post office includes $100 of insurance in its Priority Mail Express shipping and offers options for declaring a higher value, for a fee.

If your package ends up being damaged in transit, but the shipping company determines that you packed it improperly, or did not follow proper packing procedures, they may have grounds to deny your claim.

I made Tyson guess what I’m thankful for this year — wait until you hear what he said

This Thanksgiving was a huge success!  Tyson did the cooking and he nailed it, mostly thanks to his friend Big Mama.

Now it’s time to do some quiet reflection on what we’re thankful for this year. (Oh, who are we kidding? Tyson and I have never been quiet in our lives!)

Watch the video

Last year, we made a video about how we’re thankful for  you , our amazing fans!

This year, we decided to turn gratitude into a game. I listed the things I believe Tyson is thankful for, and he did the same for me.

It wasn’t always civil. In fact, at one point, it seemed like we were passive-aggressively listing the things we don’t like about each other.

But, in the end, we came together to decide the one thing we’re most thankful for — and, naturally, it’s still  you ! We can’t believe we get to do this for a living, and that’s all thanks to you! And we want all the Elissa the Mom and Tyson fans to be themselves, always. We want them to be happy, healthy, and amazing all year long!

Watch new videos from  Elissa the Mom  every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

Kevin Hart announces the birth of his son, Kenzo

Kevin Hart is a dad again. He and his wife, Eniko Parrish, welcomed baby Kenzo early Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

"God is truly amazing," Hart tweeted. "Kenzo Kash Hart was born at 1:45am ....He is Healthy & already smiling. Thank you all for your prayers!!!! We love & appreciate ya."

>> See the tweet here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Looks like mom was ready for her new bundle to get here!

>> See her Instagram post here

Ben Affleck might be hanging up his Batman cape and the internet is suggesting some interesting replacements

Ben Affleck’s relationship with Batman has been shaky to say the least. To begin with, nerds across the globe had meltdowns when it was first announced that he would be inheriting the coveted cape and cowl from British actor Christian Bale — whose tenure in the role was acclaimed by fans and critics alike (despite that weird growling voice thing he did). Not only that, but the two movies in which Affleck has appeared as the Dark Knight have not been warmly received.

#JusticeLeague is currently #Rotten at 39% on the #Tomatometer, with 228 reviews: https://t.co/wUWGlprlW5 pic.twitter.com/6FedBjkPyu — Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) November 17, 2017

RELATED: Paris Hilton just claimed that she and Britney Spears invented the selfie — and she has the pics to prove it

Affleck is apparently signed on for five DC movies, But when asked by Extra TV if he intended to fulfill his contractual obligations, he un-enthusiastically responded with “I don’t know about that… we’ll see what the future holds.”

The actor further got the rumor mill spinning even more when, in a recent USA Today profile, he revealed that he hasn’t actually committed to appearing in the upcoming standalone Batman movie, ingeniously titled “The Batman,” adding that he’s still contemplating if the movie is right for him. He also hinted that he’s considering going out with some dignity, despite only appearing as the caped crusader in two poorly-received movies: “[It’s] something I’m contemplating,” Affleck said. “You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”

So with rumors abound that Affleck is about the hang up the cape for good, the internet’s greatest minds began speculating about who his successor will be. And boy, did they have some wacky suggestions:

“I wonder what that boring dude from ‘The Matrix’ would look like in a cowl,” said literally nobody ever aside from this Twitter user:

petition for keanu reeves to be the new batman — gemma (@harriiisco) November 19, 2017

How about a womanizing advertising executive Batman? Or… Who’s that other guy?

my picks for a new batman pic.twitter.com/nIqACQyN39 — audrey “lady bird” organa (@amiIynholdo) November 16, 2017

Michael Cera as Batman? Imagine it. Good thing Conner here is clearly trolling. Well played, sir.

Your new Batman pic.twitter.com/xF6cWz1gXC — Conner Schwerdtfeger (@ConnerWS) November 17, 2017

Okay this one’s actually not so bad. We could live in a world where Idris Elba is Batman.

Idris Elba for Batman, please. — Joshua MacDougall (@FreakinClever) November 18, 2017

The kid at Meg’s pool has some lofty aspirations:

A kid at my local pool just stood up in front of everyone and yelled "I AM THE NEW BATMAN" and frankly, I'm on board. — Meg Watson (@msmegwatson) November 19, 2017

Curious about what Jake Gyllenhaal would look like in the cape an cowl? Well you’re in luck, because BossLogic did some mock-ups:

Just a quick fix for now – Jake Batman, might add more to it. pic.twitter.com/nXMHVaZvWw — BossLogic (@Bosslogic) November 18, 2017

Not everyone is on board with a Gyllenhaal Batman though. Some people were baffled by the mere suggestion:

Stop it. Nobody needs a new Batman. Literally nobody. Not Jake Gyllenhaal, not audiences, not even the studio who should take a lesson from Justice League and know when to quit. Let the character rest. — Glenn Dunks (@glenndunks) November 19, 2017

And this guy just really likes Oscar Issac. Who doesn’t?!

why would you ever cast jake gyllenhal as batman when oscar isaac is right there he played apocalypse in the worst x-men movie under 10 feet of makeup i’m pretty sure he’d be interested just call the dude come on — james brooks (@elite_gz) November 20, 2017

You only need 6 shot glasses and some alcohol to pull off this brain-bending bar trick

If you’ve got six shot glasses and some type of alcohol, you can challenge your friends to this little brainteaser.

RELATED: Flip over an open can of liquid without spilling a single drop

Watch the video

Can they figure out how to create alternating shots in only one move? If they’re clever, they probably can — we’ll drink to that!

Want to learn more bar tricks?  Start here .

Energy drinks pose serious and scary health risks, scientific review shows

Although energy drinks may provide the boost you need to make it through a long day, that extra push may come with far more negative side effects than you realized.

» RELATED: Coroner: Caffeine overdose from soda, coffee and energy drink led to death of S.C. teen

Mental health problems, risk-seeking behavior, increased blood pressure, obesity, tooth erosion, adverse cardiovascular effect and kidney damage are some of the many negative health consequences linked to energy drinks, a recently published review of scientific articles on the topic has revealed. Furthermore, these risks are often hidden by clever marketing and a lack of regulation.

"The negative health effects associated with energy drinks (ED) are compounded by a lack of regulatory oversight and aggressive marketing by the industry toward adolescents," authors wrote in the article published in “Frontiers in Public Health.”

» RELATED: How dangerous are energy drinks, really? Study finds link to serious heart problems

According to one of the review's coauthors, the problems associated with the drinks are so numerous, even the researchers were surprised.

"The wide range of conditions that energy drinks can negatively impact was quite astounding," study author Josiemer Mattei, assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Men's Health.

Energy drinks contain excessive amounts of several key ingredients that lead to adverse effects, according to the review. The drinks' high amounts of sugar, caffeine and stimulants such as guarana all can cause a variety of negative health consequences.

» RELATED: The truth about the dangers of dietary supplements

"The excess caffeine may contribute to cardiovascular outcomes, such as increased blood pressure," Mattei told Yahoo News.

Whereas caffeine has also been linked to health benefits, a recommended daily limit is 400 milligrams for adults. Energy drinks may contain more than 200 milligrams per ounce.

» RELATED: World’s strongest coffee finally available in U.S., but beware of health risks 

Just as alarming as the high concentration of caffeine is energy drinks' high sugar content. The average 16.9 ounce energy drinks contains about 54 grams of sugar, significantly more than the recommended limit of 36 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women.

As the American Heart Association points out, "added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health."

» RELATED: Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds 

In addition to weight gain, excessive sugar intake can lead to range of conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Over time, consistent high blood pressure may damage blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to heart disease and kidney problems. 

On top of energy drinks' own negative effect, they are often combined with alcohol, compounding the health risks. The article pointed out that this trend also appears to lead to higher levels of alcohol consumption, especially among young people.

» RELATED: Half of US adults now have high blood pressure, based on new guidelines

"Researchers attribute this to the fact that consumption of ED masks the signs of alcohol inebriation, enabling an individual to believe they can still safely consume more alcohol, leading to 'awake drunkenness,'" researchers wrote. "As a result of this increased alcohol consumption, those who drink alcohol-mixed ED are more likely to experience severe dehydration and alcohol poisoning."

Despite the numerous health risks, aggressive marketing has led to rapid growth and popularity of energy drinks throughout the world. Sales have increased in the U.S. by more than 240 percent since 2004, and the industry is expected to reach $21 billion in the country by this year. As a result, the article's authors argued that more regulation and oversight is necessary to address energy drinks as a public health challenge.

» RELATED: Here’s how much caffeine it takes to kill you

"Public health and policy action must be taken to mitigate the negative health effects and public health challenges associated with ED," researches noted, outlining specific steps the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) should take to properly label energy drinks. The authors also suggested that marketing should be regulated, specifically as it targets minors.

Pointing to the growing evidence reviewed in the article, the authors argued that energy drinks "should be considered a significant public health problem that warrants attention." 

Read the full study at frontiersin.org.

10 tips for Black Friday shopping

The Thanksgiving turkey isn’t on the table yet, but Black Friday sales are already happening.

RELATED: These tech deals are the best you’ll find this Black Friday

Watch the video

Here are 10 tips on how to make the most of your Black Friday shopping.

1. Start tracking now

Gone are the days when being the person asleep in front of the store at 2 a.m. meant you were the most dedicated shopper. Black Friday is now a month of big deals.

Those prices shift throughout the holiday season, though, so if you really want to judge how good the sales are, you’ll need to track the deals leading up to Black Friday.

The same goes for Cyber Monday, which now stretches into a week of online specials.

2. Get a sneak peek at the ads

If you want to get the best deals, get a look at the ads. You might think they haven’t been released yet, but the retail industry has more leaks than Washington.

You’ll find tons of leaked Black Friday ad scans at bfads.net, bestblackfriday.com, dealnews.com, gottadeal.com, and theblackfriday.com.

3. Compare prices

While it’s tempting to grab the last one of a product on the shelf, take a minute and make sure you’re getting the best deal on it.

There are plenty of websites and apps to help you with this. Start with PriceGrabber.com, PriceWatch.com, Shopping.com, Shopzilla, Google Shopping and NexTag.com.

You may not be able to do direct model-to-model pricing, but you can at least see what the best deal available on all the 46” TVs, for example.

4. Figure out your priorities

On the big day, figure out what you want to buy, which store you want to hit first, and the importance of each present. This helps put your “must haves” near the top so you’ll prioritize getting those first.

5. Remember your usual haunts

If you’ve got a favorite retail outlet, you should be signed up for their loyalty program. (But don’t go as far as wearing their colors – wearing red to Target on Black Friday is like putting their bullseye on your back).

If your store has a Black Friday shopping alert, it will help you get the first word on promotions, coupons, and discounts. In some cases, you can even find out whether the products you want are in stock or eligible for a buy online/pick up at the store option. That’ll save you shipping costs.

6. Monitor the social channels

Retailers often use Facebook and Twitter for releasing deals and promotions. They can also give customers who like or follow them special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives.

7. Put your phone to work

There are few days when your phone is more important than Black Friday, whether it’s coordinating with others in your party or comparison shopping.

Make sure you have some comparison-shopping apps such as ShopSavvy, BuyVia, Flipp, RetailMeNot, and SlickDeals. You should also have apps from the stores you’re visiting.

8. Stick to your budget

Rule 1 of saving money during the holiday season is stick to your budget. But walking into a store on Black Friday is walking into a retail carnival, and impulse buying opportunities are everywhere.

Take a deep breath, focus on your list, and try not to let the deals overwhelm you. A popular option is to try buying with cash, so you can see firsthand how much you are spending.

9. Beware the price match

While many stores usually have price-match policies, those can go out the window during Black Friday.

Check the fine print on their price-match policies. Also check the return and exchange policies to make sure that the store won’t charge a restocking fee for any item you bring back.

10. Accessorize carefully

Those great deals on TVs get you in the door, but there won’t be deals on accessories such as HDMI cables.

If you know you’ll need an HDMI cable, look at discount online stores, such as monoprice.com or bluejeanscable.com.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about HDMI cables, but you can get a cable that is much more reasonably priced than the $35 for a 6-foot cable at a store.

Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

While it may never reach the level of controversy of how to hang the toilet paper roll or which way to load the dishwasher, the right time to put up the Christmas tree is a heavily-debated household topic.

There are answers to this question that depend on everything from Prince Albert to the opinion of tree growers to something called Adelaide Pageant Day.

RELATED: They spent 30 hours to identify the best fake Christmas tree

Whether you're undecided on the best time to put up your Christmas tree or are merely looking for reinforcement for your preferred date, at least one of these timing traditions is bound to work for you:

Forbidding the tree before turkeys

The ultimate etiquette authority, Miss Manners, doesn't specify when you should put up the tree, but does note succinctly that it isn't done before Thanksgiving.

The nouveau 12 days of Christmas approach

In days of yore, the 12 days of Christmas started with Christmas Day and wrapped up on January 6, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. Apartment Therapy suggests a more modern 12 Days of Christmas tree strategy, putting up the tree for around 12 days beginning in mid-December and taking it down right after Christmas.

This dovetails nicely with advice from the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, which noted in The Telegraph that while it's cool to buy live trees from December 1 onwards, the middle of the festive season, around the third week of Advent, is a good compromise between putting the tree up immediately and waiting for Christmas Eve.

Prince Albert

Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, is widely heralded as the man who lit up the Victorian Christmas tree tradition in the 1840s, bringing it to Britain from his native Germany. If you want to stick with the original Christmas Tree timeline of Albert and his German forebears, go with Christmas Eve. 

The Aussie approach

According to Monash University religious diversity professor Gary Bouma in The Age, the established guideline in Australia is not to put up the tree before December, but not everyone abides by it.

By "not everyone," he may mean the full 14 percent of Be a Fun Mum blog readers, who said they put up the tree in early November. They did restrain themselves until after something known as Adelaide Pageant Day, the second Saturday of November. And they are in solidarity with the Fun Mum herself, who says she put her tree up in early November because, "My mum always did. I love Christmas and like to string it out."

Viva Italiana

You may be leaning towards putting the tree up the first week of December anyhow, but this Italian tradition provides a godd reason for it. According to Italy Magazine, Italian Christmas traditions begin on December 8 with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a date set in the Catholic calendar in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV.

Since December 8 is a public holiday and most Italians get the day off, it has become the day when many of them put up their Christmas trees and other holiday decor.

The final word on when to put up your tree

Assuming your own family tradition isn't already firmly in place, Southern Living gets the last word on the best time to put up the Christmas tree. That's because the ultimate authorities on Southern taste on all things mayo and wicker are also so darn sensible and inclusive on this topic: "We pass no judgement, but here are the times for when to put up your Christmas decorations. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the earliest that you should set up a Christmas tree or put up Christmas-specific decorations."

The reason you shouldn't do it earlier? "It is inconsiderate for your beautiful tree to steal the thunder from your big turkey dinner."

As for the latest time to put up the tree, that would be Christmas Eve, a nod to bygone, less holiday-crazed times.

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