When To Take Your Christmas Decorations Down

Us Brits adore Christmas, and one of our favourite Christmas traditions is hosting a Christmas tree in our homes and decorating it (and the rest of the house!) for the season. When it’s appropriate to have your Christmas decorations up is hotly debated, with some setting up their Christmas decorations as early as October or early November and others only interested in having a Christmas tree for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, the rules around when to take your Christmas decorations down are a little more concrete.

This is down to a few Christmas traditions from days gone by – the Victorian era traditional called Twelfth Night, the Epiphany celebration, and the 19th-century celebration, Candlemas.

Christmas decorations

What Is Twelfth Night?

If you’re familiar with the Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”, the Twelfth Night is the 12th day after Christmas when your true love gives you their final Christmas gift. 

This is because Christmas used to be a twelve-day celebration beginning on Christmas Day, rather than Christmas celebrations beginning during the Advent season from December 1st to the 24th. 

In Victorian times, taking your Christmas decorations down earlier or later than the Twelfth Night would be considered unlucky, and decorations not taken down on the Twelfth Night should then stay up in your home all year to be safe. 

Twelfth Night lands on January 5th in our calendars, and is the earliest date that many believe you should take down your Christmas decorations.

What Is The Epiphany?

Twelfth Night is the Eve of the Epiphany. The day of the Epiphany lands on January 6th which symbolises the day that The Maji, otherwise known as the three wise men, arrived with their gifts for the baby Jesus. Christian tradition suggests that taking down your decorations before the Eve of the Epiphany might mean that the wise men may not be able to find their way to Jesus as the Christmas lights are intended to represent the Star of Bethlehem.

Depending on how closely you follow Christian tradition, you may find January 6th a more appropriate day to take down your Christmas decorations than January 5th; many European countries including the Czech Republic, Poland Germany follow the Epiphany tradition.

Christmas lights

What Is Candlemas?

Candlemas Day marks the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This marks the fortieth day after Jesus’ birth when he was brought to the temple for rites of dedication and purification. Christian belief states that if Christmas decorations aren’t taken down by the Twelfth Night or the Epiphany, they should be left up until Candlemas on 2nd February.

Why Is Taking Your Christmas Decorations Down Late Unlucky?

Religious direction aside, taking down your Christmas decorations after the Twelfth Night was considered unlucky for much more folklore-led reasons. It was believed that within the festive holly and ivy, tree-spirits lived throughout the festive season as a shelter during the winter. Once Christmas was over, the spirits needed to be released by the taking down of the Christmas decorations – if they weren’t taken down in time, greenery and vegetation wouldn’t return and grow!

How To Store Christmas Decorations

Whenever you decide to take your Christmas decorations down, storing your Christmas decorations properly is key if they’re going to stay in good condition year after year! The only real threats to the condition of your Christmas decorations are damp and dust. To keep both at bay, we recommend storing Christmas decorations in resealable zip-lock bags and shrink-wrapping your tree; but what to do with all these zip lock bags full of Christmas decorations?

Here at Leader Furniture, we offer a huge range of storage options that make perfect choices of Christmas tree storage and Christmas decoration storage. Choose from decorative storage boxes for a fun and festive appeal that might make your Christmas decorations easier to spot if you’re storing them in the loft! Or for a more traditional look, why not browse our wooden storage boxes? Easily stored either in your loft or around your home, you can keep your Christmas decorations safe and sound until next year with Leader Furniture.

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