There are two types of people when it comes to taking Christmas decorations down. The ones that prefer to enjoy the festive vibes of the Christmas decorations for as long as possible, and the ones that can’t wait to pack everything away and tidy up the living room. Thankfully, there is a solution to their disagreement. 

There is a common consensus that the “Twelfth Night” is the more appropriate time for your house to return to its ordinary looks. But what, and more importantly, when is that?

What is the Twelfth Night?

The Twelfth Night is simply the twelfth day after Christmas. That means the 5th or 6th of January, depending on when you start counting – the Church of England’s begins with Christmas Eve, whereas the Catholics choose Boxing Day to set their timers.

This day has a special meaning in the Christian tradition. It celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men, who followed the star of Bethlem to bring their gifts to baby Jesus. According to this, the star on most Christmas trees resembles that same star, while the Christmas lights symbolise finding hope in the darkness. That’s why, after the Twelfth Night, they have served their purpose and are ready to go.

Why do Christmas decorations come down on the Twelfth Night?

Also, the 6th of January marks the end of the festive season with the Epiphany. Epiphany is another Christian feast which celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. The word comes from the ancient Greek verb “fainomai”, which means “reveal”, and the word for light–“fos”–also derives from it.

But apart from any faith, it makes sense, too. By the start of the new year, a real tree won’t probably look at its best anymore, while it would be a good time for a live tree in a pot to be placed outside in a shed before it gets replanted in Spring.

Is it bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up?

Reading about all these, it comes naturally to wonder what happens if you don’t follow the tradition. Some, actually, believe it is bad luck. But this belief has slight to no basis in reality. Still now, many wait for Candlemas, on February the 2nd, to pause their Christmas vibes for next year. That’s, in fact, very close to the 1st, when Tudors used to complete their festive period as well. It wasn’t until the Victorians that it was decided that everyone should be back to work after 12 days. So, that’s probably how the bad luck rumour started, with the Victorians trying to enforce the new law.

But today, there are no rules for Christmas. Especially since Covid and the uncertainty it brought to the Holly season for two consecutive years, people aim to add as much cheer as possible. And why not? Especially since the festive mood helps fill in the New Year’s resolutions. If that’s your case, go for a winter theme for your tree rather than an overtly Christmas one. It will buy you some time before it starts raising questions.

How to best store Christmas decorations Tips

When the time comes to say goodbye to Christmas, what’s the best way to store the decorations? 

  • Ornaments: Put the small ornaments in cups, and then the cups into boxes divided by cardboard to protect them from crushing. Alternatively, store them in empty egg cartons or food containers. Using clear resealable bags to sort them out by colours will help you decorate your tree faster next year.
  • Lights and garlands: Make sure they stay untangled by wrapping them around pieces of cupboard or cupboard tubes. Bottles are also a smart solution to finally keep the garlands from getting twisted around everything.
  • Wreaths: The wardrobe rail or a clothing rack is the perfect place to hang your wreaths for the rest of the year and avoid getting them flat. 
  • Tree: As for your tree, wrap it in dust sheets to keep it clean and tidy in the garage, or use shrink-wrap to fit it in a smaller storage room.

Christmas lights you can have up all year round

Some decorations don’t have to go away for Christmas.  In fact, if there’s not enough storage space, there’s no need to put all decorations away at all. Instead, try repurposing them around the house for the rest of the year. For example, Fairy lights perfectly match a kids’ room, while Firefly bulbs would give that extra attention to detail in your garden to enjoy in the warmer seasons. Of course, a Bottle croc can even stay in the exact same spot in the living room and keep some of the Christmas cosiness around for longer to cherish.

Check here if you’re looking for some last minute decorations or lights for all year round.

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