While many people are shy about discussing politics and religion, both online or in-person, they are not shy about when everyone should take down their Christmas tree. Some choose to take it all down the day after Christmas; their interpretation of Boxing Day. Others insist that it all should be put away on New Year’s Day… leaving a clean slate for the clean new year. I am reluctant to take down my Christmas tree, and one year I kept it up all year. Most years, I took down my tree on Feb 2nd; other years I kept it up until my daughter’s birthday on Feb 13th. This year, the lights on my tree give my little studio apartment some brightness and a connection to my past lives; before my grandmother died, before my daughter died before my husband died. Each of these three celebrated Christmas in their own way, in ways that I blended into my own way.
Apparently, I am not alone in feeling this way about keeping up their Christmas trees. I have been reading comments and articles about not wanting to put away their Christmas ornaments, especially their Christmas tree. The Atlantic Magazine had an article titled.
The Case for Keeping Up Your Christmas Tree Until March
Or even May
Quotes from that article that really resonated with me:
“It is a bleak scene, made all the worse by the fact that it is unnecessary. The decision to take down our holiday decorations after New Year’s is an arbitrary act of seasonal austerity. Yes, the holidays are over, but the cold, dark days of winter are far from done. And so I propose we put an end to this cruel practice. There is no reason to embrace the new year in darkness. It is time we institute a new practice of keeping up our trees and our lights while we ride out the winter months. Normalize prolonged festivity!
…this isn’t about Christmas or Hanukkah or any specific celebration. It’s about finding ways to make it through the winter doldrums.
Right now, that’s more challenging than ever. The holiday comedown was hard enough before COVID stresses, variant surges, and school closures. And while plenty of people out there are embracing normalcy, millions more with lower risk tolerance are hunkering down to protect themselves or loved ones or to keep the hospital system from straining. It is, for many, a lonely time.
I was not alone and that people are leaving their artificial trees up longer and longer—sometimes year-round. “We so desperately need that light in our lives these days,” she said. “And people are realizing that having them around is a wonderful, uplifting thing.”
Others are buying trees that can change with the seasons, and Valentine’s Day and Halloween trees are sprouting up online.”
I, myself, am planning on taking the Christmas ornaments off of my white Christmas tree, keeping the white lights, and adding heart-shaped Valentine ornaments for Valentine’s Day and my daughter’s birthday.
Back to the article:
“I found hundreds of accounts of people who had switched to an artificial tree to extend the cozy vibes. Come January 1, the Christmas ornaments come down, but the lights and the golden glow remain.
I believe that the most important part of the holiday season has little to do with any one day or gift. It’s about a change in spirit—one that urges us to take a moment to reflect during a dark and cold stretch of the year, and adds little dashes of color and light to our lives. It’s a time of year that reminds us to be hopeful and to focus on joy where we can find it. I’m not sure why that attitude needs to die on January 1.
I’m not suggesting that we need to leave our trees up all year. (Though Warner and the Christmas Tree Association told me that the perma-tree movement is picking up steam.) Tree timing should be as arbitrary as it is individualized—especially during a pandemic winter. Time is a flat circle. Take your tree down when you’re ready. Or don’t! Apologize for nothing.”
The Perma-Tree Movement and Tree Keeping. I like that!!
One thought on “On Taking Down Your Christmas Tree”
I’m not ashamed to say that my wife and I keep the Christmas tree in our living room up well into February. It offers solace and joy to what can be a bleak time of year where there is little light. You are so right that Christmas isn’t about one day or one gift. I have another confession to make. I have a smaller tree in the bedroom that stands six feet tall which I leave up all year, decorations and all. It brings me deep joy every time I look at it. Anything that brings someone so much joy can’t be bad. Hope every day of the year is a Christmas for you.