Taking down the decorations…

Ah, it’s a sad task but the Christmas decorations can’t stay up all year.

I mean, I’d love the magic and spirit of Christmas to be with us always, but it wouldn’t be so special if we saw Christmas trees everywhere and lived with tinsel around our houses all year.

So it needs to come down, be packed away carefully and stored until next December.

But when should they come down?

I have heard many times that it is bad luck to still have them up on/after the 6th January, and others say it is bad luck to start the new year with the Christmas decorations still on display.

The twelve days of Christmas ends on the evening of January 5 – just as Christmas starts at night fall on the 24th December (traditionally, days ended/started with the light, not at midnight.)

Traditional decorations were mostly ivy, which were believed to hold the spirit of the trees. Taking down the decorations and putting the ivy outside releases the tree spirits back into nature; leaving the tree spirits trapped in the house for too long would prevent plants growing and the arrival of spring (obviously not an Australian tradition!)

When do you take down your decorations? Do you make it fun or is it just a task to get done quickly?

10 Responses to Taking down the decorations…

  • Sharna J says:

    The hardest ones to take down are at school – they have to come down before I leave for Christmas holidays so they aren’t still there when we get back in late January!

    It feels sort of wrong to pull them all down before Christmas and almost as soon as the kids are out of sight.

    I’d love to make a tradition of taking them down, but it isn’t fair on the kids to do it on the last day of school when they’re building up to Christmas!

  • MissieK says:

    My son’s birthday is on January 14 – so we make sure they are down by then. Generally the day chosen is one when the kids are bored and need something to do!

  • ssamcd says:

    I always take my down after the 6th of January. I leave the lights on till the 6th of January. I am always also so sad taking down the tree. I love Christmas. Every year I take down the tree I feel a strange feeling of grief. I don’t know how to explain it. So When I start I don’t stop till everything is tucked away till the following year.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I agree – it is hard taking down the deocrations and returning to normal looking homes. I think you’re wise to just keep going once you start, though.

      Love that you keep the lights going into January – sometimes it is easier to walk around looking at lights in the days after Christmas than in the madness that often consumes us in the lead up.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I usually keep the trees and decorations up through the first week in January because of Three Kings day, because we’re Cuban. Even if we didn’t have that holiday as an excuse, I would probably still leave my decorations up until mid January because I love how they look.
    I saw a woman on the news once whose interior design theme is Christmas and all her furniture and wall paint is Christmas themed. And she leaves her decorations up year round. Even her kitchen and bathroom are Christmas themed. It’s definitely unique, but it’s not for me, because I feel like it would make Christmas day less special if the house always looked like that.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Yes, Christmas glitz all year might get to be a bit much – not a very peacweful or soothing environement! – especially in the bathroom 🙂 And I agree that too much all year would take some of the special Christmas feel out of December.

      But what is Three Kings Day? I can figure out the connection to the 3 wise men but what are your celebrations for it? We don’t have it in Australia.

  • pocs says:

    I actually have part of my decorations up the week before thanksgiving and leave those up until the end of January. I have a 2 part decoration process. My luxury is light up Christmas houses. I have many. Every year I construct a village complete with trees, street lights and people. It takes about a week to set up. Too much work for a week or 2 and it fits right in with a winter theme. My holiday decorations go up the first week of December and come down the first week of January.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      YOU are very organised!

      Constructing a whle village – sounds lovely but it must take a lot of work. I can’t imagine doing that while I have young children in the house, lol!

  • pocs says:

    It definatly helped now that my children are older, not to have them under foot. When they were younger they always knew looking yes touching no. I would have to wait until they went to bed or were in school to actually do the construction. When they were teenagers, they would pitch in and help, but of course I wanted everything just perfect or my way. In the end, it was and is best just for me to do it.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I understand the absence of children being a hep, pocs – I love putting the tree together with the family but putting them away does feel safer in my hands – they have enthusiasm but not the concentration or care…

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