“When should I take my Christmas decorations down?” A surprising number of people ask Google this question. I got a surprising number of hits on a poll I posted on this topic last year. For the many curious people who search for suggestions about this, I am reposting my poll this year with a few additional reflections.
Really, there is no day when you “should” take the decorations down (or put them up). In a place of worship of an organized religion, there are usually rules about decorations according to liturgical seasons, but how you decorate your own house is your business. Nonetheless, it can be helpful to take cues for these things from the traditions of one’s Church, family, and society.
For secular society, Christmas ends pretty much at midnight on the 25th, and some stores have all the Christmas decorations down pretty quickly. Liturgically, Christmas lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 9 this year). But when it comes to taking down Christmas decorations, family traditions vary widely: some people clean house on Dec. 26, some on the Epiphany (traditionally Jan. 6), and some leave everything up until Feb. 2, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. I even met one man who keeps his Christmas decorations up until St. Patrick’s day approaches, and his St. Patrick’s Day decorations stay up until Advent.
Personally, I will be taking most of my decorations down on or after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
When will you be taking down your decorations? Have you done it already? Vote now! And/or leave a comment about why you answer the way you do.