While some take down their tinsel the second all gifts are unwrapped, others keep decorations up until Jan. 6 and beyond. Some even believe it's bad luck to take down seasons greetings too early or too late.
To settle this dismantled decor debate, we asked local interior design and Christmas decorating guru Karen Sacksteder, owner of Sacksteders Interiors, for her thoughts. "Believe it or not, there is some history behind it," she explains. "But really it comes down to three things: Religious persuasion, safety and personal preference."
On the 12th Day of Christmas...
You know the song "Twelve Days of Christmas," right? Although many believe that the 12 days of Christmas are the days leading to Dec. 25 (thanks to that song), in Catholicism, the 12 days actually start on Dec. 25 and last through Jan. 6, which is known as Epiphany or Three Kings Day, which is when the Three Wise Men came to visit Jesus. "So for Catholics, the 12th night is when they take down their decorations and tree," she explains. "And some even believe that waiting too long after the 12th night will bring bad luck."
If you have a real tree, when you initially put it up will help you decide when to ultimately take it down. "Most real trees will last four or five weeks if properly cared for," Sacksteder says. "Just keep a close eye on the needles. If they’re turning yellow or brown or feel crunchy to the touch, it’s time to take your tree to the curb because it could turn into a safety hazard."
Sacksteder says there's been a trend to decorate earlier and earlier, especially since the pandemic. "People just needed something that made them happy after staring at the same four walls for so long," she laughs. If you're an early decorator, she has some tips: "If it makes you sad to think about tossing your tree after just a month or so, consider a potted tree so you can replant when you're ready, or there’s always artificial Christmas trees. There are so many out there that look like the real thing," she says. "Or another thing you could do is to put up your holiday decor early, and then wait until the first of December to bring in your real tree."
If you don't have a religious or safety reason for taking down your tree at a certain time, Sacksteder says then it just comes down to personal preference and when you have time. "I know for me, I love Christmas and it take so much time to put it all up, that I like to keep it up a little longer. Usually around mid-January," she says. "But it's really just what feels right and when you have the time to do it."
Sacksteder says her new Tree Decorating Kits were a hit this year, and make dismantling easy. "All the ribbon, ornaments and accessories are color coordinated and come in one big box, so setting it up and taking it down is really simple," she says. "And with our holiday decorating service - where we come in and decorate your home or business - that includes taking it all down, too. So if you want the look of holiday decorations without the fuss, think of us next year."
Sacksteder's Montgomery store is located at 9797 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati, OH 45242. Sacksteder's Indiana store is located at 4101 State Road 52 New Trenton, IN 47035. To learn more, visit www.sackstedersinteriors.com, call (513)791- 5022 or (812) 637-1422 or follow along on Facebook or Instagram.