Taking Down Christmas Decorations

When is the right time to take down Christmas decorations? Growing up, my parents typically did it just after New Years. My wife and I had our tree up until this past weekend (more as a result of laziness than any statement we were trying to make) and I still have the lights on the tree in front of our house on. What is the Emily Post regulation on lighting takedown?

Comments (8)
  1. M. Whitener says:

    Christmas is a season of the western Christian church.  It always lasts twelve days.   So, Christmas decorations are appropriate at least that long.  

  2. Wayne says:

    As long as the lights are up – they should be on (well, at night), you don’t want to have the readneck set-up with your lights out and just hanging there 😉 AS far as taking them down – my family has always done the next weekend after the New Year.

  3. We generally take ours down around the 7th of January. I think that is the "12th day of Christmas" or som such. Generally it is about when the live Christmas tree starts making a real mess too. 🙂

    Lights outside depends on the weather in some places. I shut off the outside lights last weekend because I just didn’t want to give them up. Taking them off the outdoor tree will have to wait as the power cord is under over a foot of hard packed snow. Once enough snow goes away I’ll take the lights down. That’s looking like it could be a while.

  4. 5th Jan and no later, else it’s bad luck. Least thats what I was told as a kid by my parents.

    @Alfred: 5th of Jan is 12 days after Christmas.

  5. (from Italy) tipically our lights are up from 8th december to 6th january, but because we wants the lights are up at the ephipany (6th)  and the day after we are at work, the lights remain on the three to the first weekend after 6th. (this year the date is 12nd January.

  6. Steve Boyko says:

    Lights out after New Year’s Eve, in my house.  The lights themselves can stay up until a good warm spell.  My immediate neighbours and I all still have our lights on the house, but not lit.

  7. Ed Bott says:

    Jan 6th in Roman Catholic literature is the feast of the epiphany and is officially the end of the Christmas season:


  8. The night of January 5th is 12th night, though it’s slipped into the day of the 6th and that’s when decorations should come down to avoid bad luck – trapped tree spirits turn into hobgoblins and hang around the house. that’s a tradition that cam back to Victorian England from the US though I notice holiday decorations still up here in California still – and snow on 17 to Santa Cruz today; before then they stayed up till candlemass in February. I know it’s all superstition, but decorations down in time is something I feel surprisingly strongly about – and for very different reasons from ‘no decorations up before Thanskgiving’.

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