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When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Tree and Decorations After Christmas?

You may have thought it was just your preference when to take down your tree and decorations after Christmas, but there are actually some traditional dates, recommendations and in a few cases, local rules!

In the United States, there is no universally fixed date for taking down Christmas trees after Christmas, that said, here are the standards:

  • New Year's Day: Many people choose to keep their Christmas decorations up until New Year's Day as a way to celebrate the transition to the new year. Then, since many return to work on the 2nd or 3rd of January, taking the decorations down the day before returning to work simply makes things easier!
  • Twelfth Night (January 5-6): Some traditions suggest taking down Christmas decorations on or before Twelfth Night, which falls on either January 5 or 6, depending on whether one counts from Christmas Day (December 25) or from Christmas Eve (December 24). This tradition is rooted in the Christian liturgical calendar and marks the end of the Christmas season. This is common in Catholic countries and cultures and in Scandinavia.
  • Epiphany (January 6): Similar to Twelfth Night, Epiphany (celebrated especially in Catholicism)is celebrated on January 6 in some Christian traditions, and this date is considered the culmination of the Christmas season. Some people choose to take down their Christmas decorations on this day.
  • Homeowner's Associations - Yes, the dreaded Mrs. Kravitz on the HOA Board Of Directions often has a standard for when you must take down any external decorations.  Joy to the World, huh?
  • Personal Preference: Ultimately, the decision to take down a Christmas tree is a personal one. Some people prefer to keep the tree up for as long as possible to extend the holiday spirit, while others may take it down shortly after Christmas. Families with young children tend to leave them up longer, often until; mid January, simply because the kids love it!
  • Local Customs: In certain regions of the United States, there may be local customs or traditions that influence the timing of taking down Christmas decorations. These customs can vary widely. It's a joke among comedians like Jeff Foxworthy that Christmas lights in the Deep South stay up until the Fourth of July or the Next Christmas, whichever comes later. And the trees stay up until the mobile home burns down!
  • Cultural and Religious Influences: Different cultures and religious denominations may have specific guidelines or customs regarding the duration of Christmas decorations. For example, some Orthodox Christian traditions celebrate Christmas on a different date (January 7), so practices may vary.


It's important to note that there is no strict rule, and individuals and families are free to choose when they want to take down their Christmas decorations based on their own preferences and circumstances. But if you keep the tree up, besure to keep it watered and remove it when the needles become dry or start dropping.  You don't want a fire risk in the house!


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