Here is the right time to put up and take down your Christmas tree

There are historical traditions you may want to consider implementing during the holiday season start and end

The best time to take the tree down is Jan. 5. (Unsplash/Sophie Elvis)

The best time to take the tree down is Jan. 5. (Unsplash/Sophie Elvis)

Each year, it seems like Christmas hits the shelves at local stores earlier and earlier. I remember being a kid in the early 2000s and seeing advertisements for the holiday season on TV and in stores at the end of November, but now I see “Season Greetings” cards before Halloween even arrives. 

104.3 The Breeze starts playing 24/7 holiday themed music on Nov. 12 and Hallmark starts showing Christmas movies on Oct. 21. When I walk my dog around my neighbourhood, there are houses that have Christmas decorations up before Remembrance Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but it is annoying to have it constantly shoved in your face before December even arrives. Do we just skip November now? 

Regardless, I can live with these things until it’s time for the tree to come down. Some people put their trees up in early November, and I don’t understand why. Those same people are some of the first to take it down on Boxing Day, which to me seems extremely hasty. What’s the rush? In my household, we keep the tree up until Jan. 5, which I love because we enjoy our tree after New Years Eve. It’s the right time to take it down too.  

In German tradition, the Christmas tree is decorated on Christmas Eve and stays up until Jan. 5. That is exactly 12 days. 

My family waits until Jan. 5 to take down decorations, including the tree, since this day marks the Epiphany. This is when the Three Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem to visit baby Jesus. The day is also associated with the classic song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which states when Christmas begins and ends. If you take the tree down any earlier, it’s abrupt and there is less magic in the house to begin the New Year with. 

I understand that real trees tend to dry out fast, but you can still enjoy it while being careful. For example, keep the lights turned off or only turn them on when someone is at home. Or just get the tree a bit later so it can be enjoyed in January. However, fake trees are not a problem, so keep them up until Jan. 5. Enjoy those ornaments that hold special memories and make you feel warm and cozy inside. 

In an age that continues to be fueled by commercialism, we should use the holiday season to take some time to relax and remember the joy that comes with Christmas, rather than the competition to put the tree up and the sudden rush to take it down. 

In the end, there shouldn’t be any pressure. And let’s be honest, January is a bleak month and waiting to take the tree down can help with the post-holiday blues.