When Should You Really Take Your Christmas Tree Down?

Every year there are debates that circulate over when is the appropriate time to put up Christmas decorations. Some say the minute Halloween is over is the right answer and some believe in the strict honoring of each holiday as it comes. While there is clearly a wide spectrum, most people seem to agree that December 1 is the best time to put up your twinkling lights, turn on soft carols, and trim a tree filled with ornaments (via House Method).

Once the decision about when to put up Christmas decorations is settled, a related discussion then centers around when you should take them down. After all, it took quite a bit of time and effort to put up the tree, the lights, and the figurines, so it's easy to see why many people may prefer to keep them up long after the 25th.

As for an exact removal date, some Christmas lovers believe the decorations should stay up until the next holiday and some feel the 26th is the best time for removal. The history of this magical time of year may give you some insight into when the appropriate day for taking down your decorations actually is.

What tradition says

Those who cannot get enough of their beautiful tree, string lights, and eggnog nights will be happy to know that Christian tradition says you should keep your Christmas décor up until January 5 or 6. According to Better Homes & Gardens, the twelve days of Christmas actually don't even start until Christmas Day, putting the very last day for decorations to be kept up in January. 

January 6 is the Epiphany, which is the day Christians believe the three wise men visited Jesus, according to Bristol Live. Therefore, the best day to remove your décor is January 5. 

If early January isn't long enough for your Christmas spirit, some Christian religions believe that you should leave your tree up until February's Candlemas. According to Christmas Tree World, keeping your décor up until February 2 is allowable because Candlemas represents the day Jesus was welcomed into Judaism. If you have a real Christmas tree, however, this tradition may pose a problem, as the tree likely won't last that long.

Is it bad luck?

As you're deciding on when the perfect day is to remove all signs of your Christmas celebrations, keep history in mind in order to avoid bad luck for the year. According to Express, Christians believe that decorations need to be removed by February 2, at the latest, due to spirits that live in the greenery. The belief is that if decorations aren't removed by then, the spirits would be released and impact the growing season in a negative way. If you'd like to celebrate as the tradition dictates, make sure your décor is removed by February 2, or you'll need to leave it up all year long.

At the end of the day, you should remove your décor when it's most convenient for you. However, if you need an excuse to squeeze a few more days or even months out of your lights and holly, historians have given you reasons to do just that. No matter what you believe, enjoy your décor with family and friends and have a wonderful holiday season.