Vatican Nativity Scene

ROME – Just as with department store windows in the United States, reminders in Rome that Christmas is coming seem to start popping up earlier and earlier ever year. Of course Italians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it’s worth pointing out that Turkey Day just happened and it feels like Christmas season is here.

This week, for instance, the Christmas tree to be displayed in St. Peter’s Square arrived at the Vatican.

It’s an 82-foot-tall fir tree, cut down on Nov. 13 in a forest outside the small town of Scurelle (13,000 souls) in the northern Italian province of Trento. The Italian army moved it in a helicopter to a staging location, where it was put on a truck for the ride to Rome.

It’s already been put up in the square, which is the traditional annual signal that the holidays are upon us.

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