By Sean M. Wright
Special to The Witness
Time was when the cultural celebration of Christmas began the evening of Dec. 24 and ended the evening of Jan. 6: 12 days. As late as the 1940s, it was still traditional to wait until Christmas Eve to set up the family tree.
When my sister Helen — still the best, most loving big sister ever — was born exactly one week before Christmas, 1942, Mom and Dad began to hang the wreath, string lights and decorate the tree on the 18th just to make her birthday more special. It became a family tradition.