Christmas is over, and your tree is still standing in your living room, all done up with decorations, tinsel and lights. Maybe you have additional time and have been thinking about taking it down or have been planning to take it down before New Year’s Eve. Maybe you aren’t thinking about it and are planning on keeping it up until you have a day where you have the energy and willpower to take it down. Or maybe, you’ve heard about certain superstitions or bad luck involved with leaving the Christmas tree up – or taking it down too early. But what’s the right answer? Exactly when do you take down your Christmas tree?
According to Tradition
According to tradition, you can leave your tree up for quite a bit longer than the day after Christmas. The tradition of the Christmas tree dates back to the 4th century, marking the 12th Night as the time to take down the tree and put your decorations away. If you’re familiar with the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” you might have some idea of what the 12th Night means – but the 12 days of Christmas don’t actually start until Christmas Day.
As a result, the 12th Night falls on January 5 (or January 6, depending on your particular tradition). It’s also known as Three Kings Day, and in some parts of the world, it even signifies a feast as large as the one you might have on Christmas day. But be wary, because leaving your decorations up after this date is thought to bring bad luck to your household.
It’s Not Just Traditional, It’s Convenient
While leaving your Christmas tree up until January 5 or 6 might be the traditional approach, it’s also a good habit to get into for the sake of convenience and keeping a timely schedule. By leaving your Christmas tree and décor up until after the new year, you save yourself all of the headache and trouble involved with putting away decorations while also preparing for any potential New Year’s Eve parties, dinners or events. Leaving the tree up for a bit longer helps you enjoy a bit more of the holiday spirit too.
Plus, if you’re the type of person who likes to cut down your own tree each year (or get a freshly pre-cut tree – you can find both at Eckert’s Bellville Farm location), January 5 or 6 is the perfect time to remove it from your home – given that you buy it around December 1. Freshly cut trees will last about 4-5 weeks, meaning that around this time (as long as you’ve been properly watering and taking care of your tree), your freshly cut Christmas tree won’t last much longer.
Ultimately, when you take down your Christmas tree is up to you. Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to have it taken down before New Year’s Day and any other holidays, or maybe you’re the type to leave it up through January. Tradition and superstition are fun, but putting away the Christmas tree is a decision you’ll have to find your favorite answer to.