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Five Reasons NOT to take Down Your Christmas Tree Yet

We live on a busy Main Street in our little town. We have a large picture window at the front of our house. Each Thanksgiving weekend we look forward to the beacon of light our Christmas tree becomes along our bustling street.

But as the week of Christmas passes and New Year’s brings the month of January our Christmas tree quickly falls out of fashion. One year we left the tree up so long in such a visible place the neighbors began to ask out of concern if we were not well.

Nothing was wrong, of course. We just love our tree.

America is known worldwide for a robust celebration of Christmas. It is also noted for being the first to kick Christmas to the curb.

On December 26th many radio stations just a quickly switch off the Christmas music as they turn it on in November. It’s like it doesn’t exist anymore. Santa retreats to the North Pole – just a day before he was seen everywhere but now he’s an unwanted guest who has worn out his welcome.

And then there’s the unceremonious end to the Christmas tree – a sad sacrifice on the altar of Christmas past, exiled to the cold and dreary curb awaiting a fate worse than cremation.

But before you think you’re being efficient in getting Christmas put away before New Year’s we encourage you to consider these reasons for keeping that tree up a little bit longer:

The 12 Days of Christmas Begin on Christmas Day

The American version of the 12 days of Christmas runs before the holiday. In our neck of the woods some use the theme of the Twelve Days to do something special for a neighbor in the run up to Christmas, which is very cool.

But it is far from traditional. The 12 Days of Christmas traditionally run from Christmas Day through Three Kings Day. For many that is the traditional Christmas season and it is marked with religious devotion and significance.

America’s secularization of Christmas has caused us to lose this real season of Christmas – one that has been replaced by a consumer driven mind set. It’s too bad, too. There’s something to be said for extending the good will, cheer, and humanity in giving at Christmas.

You Likely Have a Safe Tree

According to those who debate the whole real versus fake Christmas issue in the United States 2 out of every 3 trees put up every year is fake.

For some it’s a practical thing. Real trees just cannot survive long indoors, especially in very dry climates like the American west.

For others it is a preference.

But whatever your reason, if you have an artificial tree, you’ve got no real reason for shoving it in a box on December 26th.

Unless you’re OCD or anal to an extreme degree. And I’m not making fun of people with real-life issues with anxiety here. The truth is that some really just want Christmas “put away” as quickly as possible because they view it all as a huge task.

These are the same people who gulp their holiday hot cocoa (the only time of the year they actually touch the stuff and then only to say they did it), refuse to drive in the snow to look at Christmas lights (too messy) and adamantly open their presents on Christmas Eve (an evil that society needs to eradicate).

In other words, they know nothing of savoring the season.

THEY need to be put into a box.

The symbolism of the tree deserves greater appreciation

The Christmas tree is one of the most sacred of symbols. It represents the Tree of Life, which is another name for Jesus Christ. The “evergreen” is no accidental choice in representing eternal life.

In other words, the Christmas tree is a statement of belief and a declaration of true rejoicing. That should be celebrated in many ways – including NOT taking to down the minute things are unwrapped.

These are the darkest days of the year

The tree has another symbolic connection – to light. Christ is the “light of the world”. During these darkest days of the year the tree adds hope and inspires one to carry on. The weeks after the winter solstice are the coldest, darkest days of the year.

Everything about both the sacred and secular celebration of Christmas is about overcoming those days.

It uplifts everyday conversation

You can’t talk about taxes, weight loss or kitten abuse while sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Just by it’s lighted brilliance alone it uplifts every day conversation.

Memories are made of it. Loved ones of Christmases past are recalled. By the tree we sing, we tell stories, we share love.

Why would you get rid of it?

Father of 7, Grandfather of 7, husband of 1. Freelance writer, Major League baseball geek, aspiring Family Historian.
I leave mine up and light it up at night every year until January 6th (on which I observe Twelfth Night), whether I'm using an artificial or real tree. :)
  • B
  • December 26, 2016
Great post. I'm 'fighting' this with my American friends every year. Yes, Christmas is not over on 26th December, it's just started. I'm so happy that MMC recognized it. Leave a tree, enjoy the Season :)
  • C
    Carrie mackins
  • December 29, 2016
Thank you all for this information of when to take decoration down in always do it day after new year
  • N
    Neil Hayden
  • January 1, 2017
Love what u have said. Its the same in the UK. Christmas is a seasonal thing not one day. I too keep my decorations up till the 6th Jan. However it is sad to see commercialism ruin the festivities. Keep up the good work
  • C
  • January 5, 2017
I completely agree with you about the beauty and importance of the Christmas tree! It surprises me that more people don't buy real trees with that unforgettable "Christmas fragrance." (Tip: Spraying water on a real tree daily keeps it fresh longer). I bought a 4-5 ft.fraser in mid-December for that special fragrance and real greenery.The snow and ice season is just beginning here and having a sparkling Christmas tree in the house lifts everyone's spirits when the weather is bleak..M recent ebook about Swedish Christmas emphasizes the 6-week long "Season of Light" during the darkest days of the year when the Christmas tree figures prominently. In northern New England, too, you often see lighted Christmas trees outdoors ih the deep snows in February.
  • C
    Christopher Cochran
  • January 9, 2017
I agree with what you said. I actually think that the way Christmas is celebrated in this country contributes to SAD - seasonal affective disorder. I think you can't go through the build-up that occurs, actually 'WAY BEFORE Thanksgiving, of all the glitz in the stores, the carols on the radio, the parades, plays, "the 25 Days of Christmas", and all the rest, ... and not feel the letdown, the air exploding from the balloon, the DEPRESSION of what occurs on the 26th of December ! For many (including me), it's the start of their SAD season; and it won't end until Opening Day of their favorite baseball team, or at least the first warmer-than-normal Spring day ... It's a shame - it shouldn't be - Europeans have it right ... Yes ! - it'll end and fade after Epiphany (the 6th of January) comes and goes. But having that extra almost-two-weeks, in my view, would help ease-back from the huge six-plus-weeks build-up to December 25th ... - and maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't have that huge build-up ... (??)
This one is quite a bit late for this post, but I thought I'd put in my two cents anyway. My trees go up the week of Thanksgiving and most of them come down right before the SuperBowl. Yes, they stay up the entire month of January. On top of that, one artificial tree has all but the lights removed and stays up all year long as a type of night light. There is also two three foot decorated tress that remain up all year long. One in the kitchen and one in my office.
I enjoy Christmas that much. For the true reason for the season to the childlike faith that permeates the very air during that special time. In the past I have put up as many as 12-14 trees of various heights in almost every room in the house, which is another reason they stay up longer. It takes a few days to put together that many trees.
Others many do what they feel is best of course and I will always do the same (even at the expense of a much larger electric bill).
Just set a personal record for length of time keeping a Christmas tree up, and now that Easter is approaching, finally took it down just TODAY and put it curbside for pickup. It was really sad as it's been such a source of joy through months of cold, grey nasty weather and is STILL fragrant and green. The joy seems to have left the house with it. I watched the truck haul it down the street on the verge of tears. The tree apparently didn't want to go either as it seemed stuck to the Christmas tree stand and took a lot of extra effort to pry it loose! I tried every which way to lift it out and could not separate it from the base for about half an hour. So, the tree had spirit, spunk and must have had a good life before it was harvested. I really hated to let it go. But it's finally spring, so it's time.

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