December 26 Doesn't Mean Christmas is Over!
When Do You Take Down Your Christmas Decorations?
I've seen many, many different answers to this question ranging from "when we feel like it" to "when the tree starts dying" to "I don't know; sometime in March?". Some people even keep their Christmas lights up until way into Spring! (I'm not judging; I know they're a pain to take down. I'm just saying...) There doesn't seem to be a set day to take them down.
Let me make a suggestion!
January 6th - the Feast of the Epiphany! This is when the Christmas season technically ends and by removing the decorations on this day, the transition has meaning.
The 12 Days of Christmas...
Do you know that song? "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pair tree..." On each of the 12 days of Christmas, the true love accumulates more items. The song refers to the 12 days after Christmas up to the Feast of the Epiphany.
It has been suggested that the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas" was written to teach young Catholics about the faith, but according to Wikipedia, that can't be confirmed. Check out this page on Catholic.org to find out each of the meanings; it's pretty cool!
3 Wise Men Traditions
The Epiphany is when we celebrate the day the 3 Wise Men made it to the manger in Bethlehem to see Baby Jesus. This is the day my family and I take down all of our Christmas decorations because this is when the Christmas season ends. I love taking them down on a set day for a set reason instead of whenever we feel like taking them down.
My husband's family has another 3 Wise Men Tradition that we've adopted to add more meaning in our Christmas decorations. I love it! When FIRST decorating your home for Christmas, don't put the 3 Wise Men with Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the Nativity Scene. Put them on display, but far from the Holy Family (across the room or even in the next room). Then starting on Christmas day and every day afterward, move the 3 Wise Men (or have your kids move them) a little bit closer to the Baby Jesus. This should culminate on January 6th - the Feast of the Epiphany, when they finally get to see Baby Jesus and bring him their gifts.
So don't let Christmas in your house end on December 26th, but keep it alive by remembering the story! Then on January 6th, let's all take our decorations down as we move into Ordinary Time.