Poll: when do you take your Christmas decorations down?

“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.

My personal Christmas tree, decorated only with origami (except the lights).


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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6 Responses to Poll: when do you take your Christmas decorations down?

  1. Gail Green says:

    Until I was four years old, Santa Claus put the tree up on Christmas Eve after we kids were in bed. But when I turned five my sister and I had seriously dangerous ear infections, (many years later my mother told me the doctor wasn’t sure I’d survive the illness). So Mom and Dad put up the tree early, and let my sister and me watch (we were too sick to get off the couch). We did get to cut out pictures from an old story book, and wrap tin-foil around the legs of the lambs, the cow, etc., for sparkle. I didn’t do the cutting but I did wrap the scraps of tin foil. As you can tell, we survived the ear problems, but the tradition was then begun of putting up the tree before Christmas Eve.
    Then the tradition was to take the Christmas decorations and tree down on Dec. 31, and on January 1 my parents had an open house, decoration free, for all their friends, to greet the new year, have more of the hair of the dog if they’d been celebrating the night before, and enjoy lots of good food.
    When our sons were young we put the tree up early in December (someday we’ll go into the hawk and the dove and the broken window – actually, ask Lyman Green Jr.), with the house decorations, Nativity scene, etc., and took it all down the day before or on New Year’s Day. I still do that. I decorate the tree by myself, get all the decorations up, and take them down on the 31st and/or Jan 1. Am doing that today.

  2. Beautiful says:

    Thanks for sharing. What a nice story. 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Perpetual Learner and commented:

    If you did not answer this poll last year, take a moment to let us know when you take your Christmas decorations down!

  4. Interesting post and poll. (I’m amazed at how many Epiphany people there are) Of course last year, our tree made it to Easter… Happy New Year!

  5. The 12 days was our family tradition growing up and we still carry on. A good Solemnity to you tomorrow as well.

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