When to Take Down Your Christmas Decorations in 2019, According to Experts

The question of when to pack up your Christmas décor has been debated at length. Now, the experts weigh in.

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After all the gifts have been unwrapped, the eggnog has been sipped, and too many jokes about mistletoe have been made, it's official: Christmas is over. But while the holiday itself comes to a close on Dec. 25, your decorations don't come with a specific expiration date. Like most things Christmas, the question of when to take down Christmas decorations has been discussed at length over the decades, with various explanations on when exactly to un-deck the halls.

In the Victorian era, for example, Christmas trees and decorations were removed on the twelfth night after Christmas, says Deemer Cass, a Christmas decorations expert at Fantastic Services. While this was in accordance with the tradition of celebrating twelve actual nights of Christmas, it was also thought to bring bad luck if you left your décor up for longer. According to legend, "tree spirits" lived in the evergreens, so "they had to be released as soon as Christmas was over" or unsuspecting humans would face the consequences, Cass explains.

If tree spirits aren't your thing, however, there are other, more practical, reasons for taking your decorations down sooner rather than later. Marty Basher, home organization expert at Modular Closets, says packing things up before the new year "gives you the opportunity to start the year off fresh, uncluttered, and focused on what's ahead." And this isn't merely modern minimalism crowding out the holiday cheer. Many superstitious folks also believe that "taking your Christmas tree down before New Year's Eve will ensure you don't carry your bad luck into the new year," says Cass.

On the other hand, maybe you had a good year and want that same 2019 magic to follow you into 2020 and beyond! If that's the case, "decorations can be kept all year long, if you don't mind all the festive elements around your house," Cass says. Coupled with the proven benefits of holiday decorations on your mental health, this may just be an effective strategy—not to mention all the time it will save you when, come Black Friday, your decorations are already up, inflated, lit, jingling, and ready to go!

That all being said, we understand if you're not ready to become the eccentric in your neighborhood with the inflatable Santa waving at passersby in June. In that case, it may be best to let good ol' Mother Nature be your guide. As Cass notes, the ultimate Christmas decoration—the tree—is pretty good at letting you know when it's time to turn down the cheer.

"Real Christmas trees are not eternal, so their needles drop and they lose their glamour by the end of January," Cass explains. Taking their lead, it's safe to say that you can consider the end of January a perfectly organic time to take down your holiday decorations. Just remember: Christmas may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't carry good tidings and joy to the world for the remainder of the year, too!

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