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There Actually Is an Exact Time You Should Take Down Your Christmas Tree

Good Housekeeping logo Good Housekeeping 12/24/2018 Kayla Keegan
a plant in a garden: Are you wondering when to take your Christmas tree down or if there's a specific date you should do it? GoodHousekeeping.com answers the question that always boggles everyone after Christmas. © Anke Scheibe Are you wondering when to take your Christmas tree down or if there's a specific date you should do it? GoodHousekeeping.com answers the question that always boggles everyone after Christmas.

As the holiday season winds down, Christmas clean-up inevitably begins. While the thought of vacuuming a gazillion cookie crumbs and tackling all those dirty dishes can be daunting, figuring out when to take down the Christmas tree might just be the toughest task of them all.

If you find yourself stumped over this very question year after year, consider letting tradition be your guide. Dating back to the 4th century, many Christians have marked the end of the Christmas season on the Twelfth Night (or 12 nights after Christmas) - an evening also known as the Eve of the Epiphany.

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: When Should You Take Your Christmas Tree Down? © Getty When Should You Take Your Christmas Tree Down?

The Epiphany marks the Three Kings (or Wise Men) visiting baby Jesus, and is either celebrated on January 5 or January 6 (depending on whether you count Day One as Christmas or not). Although Christian groups reportedly disagree over which date is the correct one, tradition dictates that the Twelfth Night is the best time to take down your festive decorations - including your tree. It's believed that waiting too long after the Twelfth Night will bring bad luck.

Of course, all of this to say that you should really take it down when it's the most convenient time for you and your family. Whether that's the day after Christmas, New Year's Eve, or whenever you can get to it, there's really no "correct" answer. After all, you worked awfully hard hanging up all that tinsel: You should feel free to enjoy it for as long as you want.


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