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Diatribe: Leaving Christmas Decorations Up All Year.

12/26/2013

LightsWhen I was a child, outdoor Christmas lights weren’t found on every single house like they are in some neighborhoods today.  They were expensive to purchase, operate and maintain and many families, particularly those with small children, would choose to spend any extra funds that they might have on gifts rather than utility bills.

The houses that did decorate with outdoor lights used simple strings of either clear or multi-colored lights wrapped around trees in the yard or along the gutters and eaves of their homes.  Hanging the lights from the rooftops was a chore, particularly when the weather was cold, but taking them down was even worse.  It seemed that some people chose to leave their decorations in place until spring when the weather was more pleasant.

Recently, I’ve learned that they may have been leaving them up because they were superstitious.  Apparently, many people believe that Christmas decorations should be taken down on the “twelfth night” which is January 6th.  This provides for the twelve days of Christmas which end on Epiphany, the celebration of the visit of the three Wise Men, the Baptism and the first miracle.  Failure to remove the decorations at this time is thought by some to bring bad luck.  If decorations are not removed on the twelfth night, they should stay up all year.

All this being said, the difference between leaving them “up” and leaving them “on” should be noted.  It’s much easier to overlook them when they’re not plugged in during the month of July.

When do you take YOUR decorations down?

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8 Comments
  1. We take ours down on the first weekend we feel up to it. Usually we hinge it towards when they pick up trees from the curb. Happy New Year.

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  2. thedogs'mother permalink

    Our dear neighbors, who we really do love, used to leave them up all year round. Turned off. One year they forgot to turn them on over Christmas…. different drummers and all. 🙂

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  3. I’m one who leaves my lights on all year round, but we turn them off by the end of January – after Ukrainian Christmas, Chinese Christmas, etc.

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    • So you leave the decorations in place but you don’t turn them on all year long?

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      • We live in apartment so we put some lights on our balcony & they stay up all year long, but we turn them off at the end of January. The Christmas tree etc. get packed away by mid-Jan.

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  4. My Mom put lights up the day after Thanksgiving and took them down the day after New Year’s… like clockwork, come rain or shine.

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