Christmas is The Biggest Holiday
Thanks so much for reaching out to me with this very common question about when Christmas decorations should come down. For most American families, Christmas is THE biggest holiday we celebrate, and it also tends to be the biggest holiday season for decorating. Halloween may have risen somewhat in popularity, and folks do decorate for other seasons too, but nothing else really compares to the emphasis we put on Christmas. I, for one, am totally fine with that; Christmas has always been my favorite holiday!
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The one real downside to the Christmas season is that we only have about a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even though retailers keep trying to push Black Friday earlier and earlier into November, most folks wait until right around Thanksgiving to start putting up their Christmas decorations. Many will go to great lengths trying to make their homes and yards look magical for Christmas! It really is kind of a shame to go through all that effort, only to have to pull everything down once the calendar strikes December 26th.
The Christmas Season Really Lasts Longer Than Some People Realize
But do we HAVE to take down the tree along with all those other Christmas decorations once the carols have been sung and the presents have been opened? No, we don’t! Since the heart of Christmas is really about celebrating the birth of Jesus, you could choose to follow the liturgical calendar and keep those decorations up a little longer. As the liturgical calendar goes, Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, and then the Christmas season doesn’t end until the Feast of Epiphany, which is celebrated on or after January 6. In some traditions, Christmastide lasts all the way until February 2, when the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also known as Candlemas) is celebrated. If you follow the church calendar in this way, then Christmas Day (December 25) is really just the midpoint of the Christmas season!
But What If You Don’t Follow the Liturgical Calendar?
So, if you want to leave your Christmas decorations up right through the end of January, you have full justification to do so. Even so, many of us don’t follow the liturgical calendar, and you’re likely to see most of your friends and neighbors pull down their yuletide lights and décor sometime before the New Year arrives. If you’re feeling the peer pressure, and don’t want to be the only person on your street with Christmas decorations still up in January, let me suggest a win-win alternative for you. Simply transition from Christmas-themed décor to winter-themed décor!
Remove the Christmas Decorations, But Leave Up the Winter Décor
Christmas only comes once a year, but the winter season lasts from December 21 all the way through the third week of March! Rather than having to take down ALL your decorations once December 25 has come and gone, you could choose to just remove your Christmas-specific items. If you’ll just weed out the Santa-themed décor and the Nativity scenes, you can leave up the snowmen and anything else that follows a more general winter theme. Let’s look at a few suggestions of decorations you can proudly display right until the first day of spring.
Snowmen Are Still In
You might want to take down your Frosty the Snowman decorations if they display any specific Christmas references, but snowmen and snowwomen never go out of style in the winter. Neither do snowballs, snowflakes, or anything else connected to winter weather. Keep those snow people and other snow-related articles out for all to enjoy.
Turn Your Christmas Tree into a Winter Tree
Just because Christmas is over doesn’t necessarily mean the tree needs to come down, especially if it’s an artificial tree that won’t dry out or lose any needles over time. In fact, many people like to decorate trees for various seasons throughout the year. Making the transition from a Christmas tree to a winter tree can be fairly simple and painless. Chances are good that some of the ornaments you already have up carry more of a general winter theme, anyway. Just remove the Christmas-specific ornaments, and voila! Now you have an instant winter tree that can remain up until spring!
Leave Up Those Garlands, and Add Some Fresh Greenery
Festive live greenery isn’t just a Christmas theme; it’s also a wonderful theme to use for winter, as well. Evergreen boughs, sprigs, and pine cones make nice accents for mantles and doorways, and they can also be fashioned into a great centerpiece for your dining room table, along with some appropriately-scented candles for winter. If you already have garlands up for Christmas, you can just leave them up. Just make sure to refresh and replenish them with fresh greenery, as needed.
Outdoor Winter Decorations
Any Christmas-specific outdoor decorations and displays will probably need to be removed, but you don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater. For example, you may want to take down most of the colored lights, but any strings of white or blue lights are perfectly fine to be left up for winter. In fact, icicle light ropes and strings are about as winter-appropriate as it gets! And if you’re looking for an idea of a decorative centerpiece for your front porch, check to see if you have an old sled lying round (or you can probably find one at a local antique shop). You can stand it up on the wall beside your front door, and you can even string it with some winter-colored lights if you like.
Don’t Forget to Winterize Your Bedroom and Other Living Areas
Layering isn’t just a good strategy for winter clothes; you can also layer your bed and sitting furniture with some nice blankets, coverlets, throws, and decorative pillows. Check out the bedding and décor collections from Jennifer Adams for some unique, attractive, and super-soft options that are perfect for winter – or for any other season. I wish you all the best as you transition your home from Christmas magic to a magical winter season!