Putting up the Christmas decorations is always a very busy time for Mrs Claus and the elves, not least because we’ll be decorating the elves’ workshop, the Claus Cottage and even the Reindeers’ stables! My sleigh might even get a polish for the occasion!

Of course I help too, but as I’m usually so busy reading all of your letters around this time of year, my small (but important) job is just to put the fairy on top of the tree. If I’m honest this is when it really hits me that I’ll soon be setting off to deliver presents to boys and girls all over the world.

This year Mrs Claus has insisted we chose a high-quality artificial Christmas tree to save the elves from stepping on spiky pine needles, but that’s not to say we don’t love real Christmas trees too! We have plenty of them around in the North Pole though, in fact there’s one in our front garden all year round.

Putting trees up in our homes at Christmas is really quite an odd thing to do if you think about it and very few people actually know why we decorate our homes with trees and wreaths at this time of year. If you do know I’d certainly be very impressed!

Back in ancient times, the shortest day of the year would be very important to people around the world as it would show them that the dark nights were getting lighter and the plentiful crop harvests would return. When you open your advent calendar on the 21st of December, remember to check what time it goes dark, you will find that it is earlier than usual. This is the shortest day of the year, also known as the winter solstice.

After the shortest day, the nights gradually get lighter as we get closer to spring, although this might be hard to believe on dark January nights! Ancient people would celebrate the return of the sun, and therefore the harvests, by decorating their homes in evergreens to signify life throughout the year.

As you probably know, Christmas trees are deciduous or ‘evergreens’, meaning they keep their green pines all year round. This is where the Christmas tree tradition began and today, at Christmas time, our homes just wouldn’t look the same without one!

Have you put up your Christmas tree yet? I do love shooting down a chimney and seeing a beautifully decorated home before my eyes. Rudolph isn’t quite sure about the outdoor lights though, I think he feels a little upstaged!