When Do You Take Down the Xmas Tree?

This morning on the Today show they were talking about the different times when people take down their Christmas trees and other decorations.  Some people take everything down promptly on December 26; others opt for the weekend after New Year’s; others on January 6 or 7 (to observe the full 12 days of Christmas); others more or less don’t take them down at all.  I took our tree down today (New Year’s Day), which is my normal practice.  I like to keep them up for the full holiday (the 26th is too quick a hook for my taste), but I sort of like the idea of beginning the New Year fresh.  So, as I sit here in a major snowstorm with the last hours of New Year’s Day ebbing away, I got curious.  When do you take your Christmas stuff down?


  1. We acted quickly this year. Everything’s gone already.

  2. Some people, I have heard, leave their tree up, but take off the Christmas Ornaments and put on Mardi Gras ornaments. This year, I expect there will be Saints ornaments until they lose (if they do) and the Mardi Gras ornaments will go up after. When I still had my grandma’s shiny aluminum tree with the color wheel (back in the 80’s) I left it up until after Valentine’s Day because I loved it so. This year it will probably come down the weekend after this one.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    In my case part of the influence is that I always get a real tree, and so keeping it around for *too* long isn’t a viable option.

  4. We take everything down on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas–but then, we also put all our stuff up on St. Andrew’s Day, November 28, so as to begin our holiday traditions on December 1, so we have close to a full month with the house all suitably decked out.

  5. Steve Taysom says:

    Ours is usually out before New Year’s. We have a real one every year, too, so it is usually on its last legs by then anyway.

  6. Whenever my wife says it’s time to take it down.

    It’s still up.

  7. Coming down as I write. Date varies. This about the latest ever.

  8. When it starts looking like it’s dying. My parents kept one up once until Valentine’s Day, and swapped the normal ornaments out for pink ones. Most of mine don’t last nearly that long though, and normally it’s gone by mid-January.

  9. We have dear friends who leave their decorated tree up until Easter…from the birth to the resurrection!

  10. I always want Christmas to last longer, but I’ve finally accepted that our culture doesn’t “do” Twelve Days of Christmas. So the tree doesn’t usually make it past the 30th. And I don’t know why, but the longer it’s up past New Year’s, the more of a chore it is to take down.

  11. I like it down before New Year, but it’s behind me as I write calling at me to put it all away. It goes up at the start of the school holiday, and will be down by the end (so only up 2 weeks maximum).
    I know one member who puts it up Christmas eve and packs it away boxing day which has to be the shortest ever.

  12. Practical guy here- the trash day after the New Year. I do this so I keep the holiday flavor around until the kids go back to school.
    Hopefully it will be down by next Tuesday….

  13. Martin Holden says:

    We normally put the tree and decorations up on the 1st Monday (FHE activity) in December and take it down on the 12th night – 6th Jan. Here in the British Isles I think most people leave the tree up till after the New Year and we definitley would not take it down on Boxing Day. For us Boxing Day is virtually another Christmas Day – without the presents but with football (soccer) so who can complain?

  14. Peter LLC says:

    Twelve days of Christmas here.

  15. The commemoration of of what was a pagan holiday, commercialized over the last century such that stores die on the vine if we do not shop our heads off beginning on Black Friday? When the kids left home, we stopped with this tree ritual. “For Christ was born in Bethlehem” in early April not near the winter solstice. Bah humbug! But the kids have continued with this “tradition.” So I’ll have to ask them.

  16. In England, it’s traditional to take it down on January 6th as that’s the day “the Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem” and it’s considered bad luck to leave it up any longer :P

  17. My wife is German so we Celebrate “Kings Day” on January 6th. Ours stays up till then and comes down that evening or the morning of the 7th.

  18. I’ll probably start to take down the tree decorations – most of them made by our now grown-up children and reminisce as I carefully put them away today or tomorrow. My hubbie will put the actual tree away into storage ’till early next December.

    We used to take our children for a tree-picking-cutting-down adventure in Ballantrae, complete with sleigh ride, hot chocolate and a blazing fire to warm our hands and feet afterwards. Now we have an artificial one…but one of our grown daughters still carries on the tradition…come to think of it, she’s the one that usually found the “perfect tree” on our family excursions!

  19. January 7th. That’s because traditionally in Mexico (I think most Latin America and some European countries), the wise men or magi come to leave presents on January 6th. That day we also celebrate “wise men day” and during dinner we eat wise men cake, also known as “Three Kings Cake” and/or “Epiphany Cake.”

  20. Epiphany Bread that is.

  21. Wait, you’re supposed to take it down??

  22. MikeInWeHo says:

    I leave mine up until New Years Day, then take it down asap after that.

  23. After Epiphany.

  24. beutiful5678 says:

    One year my roommate and I didn’t take down the tree until June or July. We didn’t have any particular attachment to it; we were just lazy.

  25. Antonio Parr says:

    The problem I have with this otherwise benign question is this: where is the opportunity to call the person with whom you are in disagreement either an evil apostate threatening to destroy the Church or an evil, close-minded literalist who wishes to entrench the Church in the Middle Ages? It almost seems like the question doesn’t belong on BCC . . .

    That being said, we take our tree down the weekend after New Year’s.

    Of course, anyone who does it differently from the Parr family is either an evil apostate threatening to destory the Church or a close-minded literalist who wishes to entrech the Church in the Middle Ages.

  26. it's a series of tubes says:

    Comments like this remind me of why a “Like” button is sorely needed on BCC.

  27. Into the first week of January (nod to Epiphany/the 12 Days of Christmas). Keeping the Christmas decorations up for a few days past December 25 seems to extend the spirit of the season. But then, we’re just a bunch of apostates who like the liturgical calendar.

  28. Don’t anyone tell my kids about epiphany! They’ll see it as a chance to finagle more gifts from the “wise men”.

  29. Some of us appear to be taking both the article and its responses much too seriously. Rather than a “like” button, I’d vote for the series of “face” buttons, smiley, frowney, you know. Bah Humbug!

  30. The feast of the Epiphany so January 6th. (Which also happens to be one of my brothers’ birthday) Anything earlier would seem completely weird to me.

  31. we are taking it down this saturday. we would have taken it down earlier, but here in New York City, they are actually collecting the used christmas trees to strengthen the dunes, so our tree will go toward making sure our house does not flood. Not a bad way to go.

  32. Usually sometime before February.

  33. Usually gone by New Year’s Day. It’s the Scot side of me to have a fresh start to the new year. Although, my grandma was the Scot and after a while she kept it up year round in her basement. It was always fun to go “play Christmas” in her basement when we would visit.

  34. I bought a live tree this year–a Norfolk Pine. It’s about 12 inches tall and currently sits on top of a chest in front of my dining room window. Hopefully by next year it will have grown a few inches and will be big enough to put some ornaments on–maybe even a few lights. So it won’t com down until it’s too big for my house. Norfolk pines are not hardy for outdoor planting in Utah.

  35. Pretty much nobody here in Japan celebrates Christmas traditionally but it is a massive event nevertheless and you will see Chrstmas trees and ornaments everywhere.
    There is a much larger and traditional emphasis on New Years, and as such the transition from the former to latter is very quick.
    All decked up and Chrstimas carols all over on the 25th, all gone by the morning of the 26th, replaced by traditional New Years decorations and music.
    In public places there are night shifts specifically to take on this task.
    As a side note, department stores will take the New Years stuff down on the 2nd and start preparing for Valentines day, which is also a massive marketing scheme in Japan.

  36. Kevin Barney says:

    MQK, that’s really interesting about how these things work in Japan.

  37. we put our tree up a little later this year because we had a lot going on it went up around the second week of December and our tree still looks beautiful so I figure why take it down? I look at the tree as more winter like and part of the winter decorations so until it starts to die I will keep it up. probably another week or so.

  38. I am always a bit sad to take it down and so leave it to the last day on the 5th or 6th. The house looks so bare.

  39. Still waiting for the Grinch to stuff it up the chimbley! However, I’m going to break down and make my kids put the rest of Christmas away before they go back to school this week.

  40. I prefer starting the new year clean- so the 26th. Once it’s over, it’s over. I set it up early though- usually the day/weekend after Thanksgiving.