When should you take your Christmas tree down?

Cute kids in pajamas decorate Christmas tree
Adobe

If you’re panicking about finding the time to take your Christmas tree down, you can relax — tradition has it that you have plenty of days well into the new year to remove all traces of the festive season from your home.

In fact, some consider it unlucky to take the tree down before the Twelfth Night, a.k.a. the Feast of Epiphany or Three Kings Day. The problem is, there’s some debate around what day that actually is, leading people to furiously Googling, “When should I take my Christmas tree down?”

Dad hoists daughter into the air next to Christmas tree
Adobe

What we know for sure is that Dec. 25 is the date when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. According to the Bible it took the Three Wise Men some time — 13 days, to be specific — to reach Bethlehem to visit baby Jesus. Their arrival signals the end of the Christmas celebrations.

So if we count 12 days from Dec. 25, we reach Jan. 5. According to the Church of England, this is the Twelfth Night, which makes Jan. 6 the day of Epiphany. However, Christian groups in other countries (including Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic) start counting from Dec. 26, which makes Jan. 6 the Twelfth Night and Jan. 7 the Epiphany.

Twelfth Night is a big celebration in some cultures, a time for communities to mark the end of the Christmas holidays with one last bit of revelry and a king cake.

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

You definitely still want your decorations up for that!

But even if you’re not celebrating Twelfth Night, if you’re the superstitious sort, you’ll want to stick to this Twelfth Night timeline (whichever one you choose) for taking the tree down. According to one superstition, Christmas decorations not taken down by Twelfth Night should be left intact until Candlemas Day, Feb. 2. Others go even further and advise leaving them up until Twelfth Night the following year!

Meanwhile, you might be wondering what to do with your unwanted Christmas tree once you do take it down. Eco-friendly options include finding a recycling program. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are more than 4,000 local tree recycling programs across the country.

You could also have it chipped into mulch for your garden. This valuable organic material helps to conserve soil moisture for a glorious springtime garden.

Happy holidays!

Curiosity, Holiday & Seasonal
, , , ,

Related posts

Pruning during sunny winter day, close up view on hands and pruning shear
5 ways to repurpose your live Christmas tree after the holidays
Abigail Oviedo's parents open the Christmas gifts they wanted as children
Parents have delightful reaction as daughter gives them Christmas gifts they'd wanted as kids
Unwrapped gifts under Scott and Katie Reintgen's tree after toddler unwrapped them all
Three-year-old unwraps all of family’s presents in the middle of the night
11 month old Violet Christiana dresses up at Elf on the Shelf for the 2023 holiday season
Watch this adorable baby recreate Elf on the Shelf setups

About the Author
Claire Gillespie

From our partners