There’s a First Time For Everything

I believe I can say with absolute confidence that we have never, EVER, in 15+ years of marriage, EVER had a Christmas tree up after New Years Day.  Now that’s partly because until about three years ago, we had only live trees, and live trees only stay, well, live, so long after being unceremoniously yanked out of the ground.  Add to that, we tend to get our trees the weekend of Thanksgiving, or at the latest, the weekend after Thanksgiving, and we are ready to take that baby down on December 26th.  And I admit, I do love the clean, spacious feeling of the house after the Christmas decorations are taken down. I’m usually pretty eager to get to that point once the festivities are over.

Even these past few years with both a live and a fake tree, we’ve managed to have everything taken down and put away by New Years Day every year until now.  Yes, we traveled, but that’s nothing unusual.  Typically we would have taken the live tree down before our trip and the fake one down the day we got back.  We really have no excuse whatsoever, except sheer laziness and apathy.

I know you Catholics out there will have something to say about Epiphany, but I don’t even know what that IS.  We Protestants are pretty much done with Christmas by New Years Day, and those of us who don’t take down our decorations by then are either lazy, procrastinators, or just enjoy looking at them, but it has nothing to do with the religious calendar.

In our house, we have a thing about having Christmas decorations up after Christmas.  It’s really my husband’s thing, but I’ve adopted it as it fits in perfectly with my all-or-nothing personality.  Our first year of marriage, when he wanted to take the tree down the day after Christmas, I happily obliged, and it has become a tradition as sacred as our excursion to chop down our family tree.

But this year?  For some reason I am still enjoying my tree.  I say MY tree, because the one still standing is my fancy tree, the one in the photograph that I’ve shared at every possible opportunity since I took it the first week of December.  You know the one.  Let’s see it one more time, shall we?

Ahhh yes, there it is.

That is my view from my office, by the way.  I’m looking at it right now, and it’s still dark enough outside that the lights are reflecting off the wood floor, just as they were when I took that picture a month ago.

Every morning, I wake up when the house is dark and the children are still nestled all snug in their beds.  I throw on a sweatshirt and walk down the dark hallway and plug in the lights on the banister.  Then when I get to the bottom of the stairs, I flip on the Christmas tree.

It’s magical every time.

I can’t seem to get tired of it.  And I think to myself, Just one more day.  I’ll take it down tomorrow.

And the next day it happens again, and I promise myself just one more morning of the magic.

Now there are green and red plastic storage bins sitting all around it, waiting for me to return the ornaments to their rightful homes, but I can’t quite bring myself to start taking it apart.

Maybe just one more day.  I’ll take it down tomorrow.

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43 Responses

  1. I think my ability to keep my live tree up for a bit after Christmas is a form on rebellion. See, my Mom always had every stitch of Christmas out of the house & put away by the time we all got up (at 7am!) on Dec. 26th EVERY YEAR. She did this because the 26th is my sister’s birthday and she said my sis shouldn’t have to share ‘her’ day with another holiday. (never mind that my birthday is ON Veteran’s Day-and now I’m married to a Veteran…) so when I got my own place I kept mine up. I think she gets hives seeing mine up after Christmas lol
    We usually don’t get out live tree until the first or second weekend in Dec. But this year we got it the weekend of Thanksgiving & kept it up until the 31st!
    I love your tree & I don’t blame you for keeping it up! 🙂

  2. Tomorrow? Really? Please leave it another day, it’s gorgeous!

    I even called my husband into my office the other day to show him this photo from a previous post and I said to him, “Next year… we are having a tree like THAT!” He looked rather panic stricken, lol

    1. Wow, that’s quite a compliment. I’m not exactly known for my decorating prowess, so I’m constantly amazed by that tree! lol

  3. We took ours down on Monday and I think for me that may have been the earliest I had ever taken it down! I usually leave it up until at least the first weekend after New Years… I just get to sad putting it away! But we were away and the thing was dropping pine needles too fast for us to consider keeping it up. But I miss it! Especially since we went away on the 27th… I feel like I didn’t get to enjoy it enough!
    Yours is beautiful! Keep it up and enjoy!

  4. My goal is to have our tree taken down around New Year’s Day. This year, I took it down on New Year’s Eve (late in the day.) If my tree looked as gorgeous as yours, I might leave it up until February.

  5. The tree is lovely. Sometimes I feel like I’m so busy during the Christmas rush that it’s not until AFTER the official holiday that I can truly just sit and enjoy it. Sigh…Growing up, we had everything down by New Year’s Eve, too.

    By the way, Epiphany is the celebration of the Magi visiting Jesus on the liturgical calendar. If you read writings of the early church fathers, you’ll find that the Nativity of Christ was even celebrated on Jan. 6th for a period of time. They also say the miracle at Cana happened on that date so be sure to have a glass of good wine tomorrow to celebrate! 😉

  6. Dude, um, could that image be more perfect? I think not. Not a dust bunny in site (unlike at my house). 🙂

    Our stuff is all still up too, but part of that is because we did a small, live, potted tree (that we’ll plant come spring) and part because we’re lazy. I suppose this weekend everything will come down!

    1. I’ve always wanted to do that – get a tree we can plant. At my old house, the family who sold to us showed us the GINORMOUS evergreen in the backyard that was their Christmas tree the first year they lived there. So awesome.

  7. Mine came down New Year’s Eve. I don’t know why, but I was completely burned out on Christmas this year. Your tree looked really lovely, BTW. Hope you are having a wonderful New Year.

  8. Ours is still up. We love our tree this year. And amazingly it’s still alive and still smells great! Watering it right now. Everything will come down this weekend though, b/c I am shifting into my new year’s cleaning mode. Declutter, organize, clean. My husband is scared. For good reason – each year I force him to part with another worn Boston College t-shirt. Those things are nasty.

  9. Mine’s still up (until this weekend, when I will sadly take it down). I love all the lights and the cozy feeling they generate in our home. My favorite part is lighting the tree in the darkness of our living room while I’m having my quiet time. It’s so beautiful and peaceful.

    Next year, I’m putting my tree up on November 1st and making it a “Thankful Tree” with harvest decorations, until the day after Thanksgiving when it will become a Christmas Tree once more.

    *obviously, I have a fake tree 😉

  10. We stopped getting live trees after the year my husband wouldn’t get rid of the tree. I managed to drag it out to our fenced in patio in February after getting sick of cleaning up dead pine needles. It stayed on the patio until MAY. We’ve been using a fake tree since then.

    We usually have a party on New Years Day so I keep the tree up until after the party. It just adds a little to the spirit of the party.

    Enjoy the magic. 😀

  11. I haven’t wanted to let go of Christmas either. This past holiday really stuck with me in wanting to celebrate Christmas all year round for real this time (not necessarily with decorations but you know.) Your tree is gorgeous. What a beautiful view.


  12. Actually, in the Catholic Church the Christmas Season ends on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, which is this coming Sunday. As a kid, we always took the tree down on New Year’s Day but now my husband and I wait until the second Sunday after Christmas to do that. We like the idea of the Christmas Season lasting longer than New Year’s Day, and it’s such a pain to take the tree down that we also don’t mind putting it off a bit!

    A question for the Protestants among us: When do your Churches take down the Christmas decorations?

    1. Debbie, thanks, I have no clue about the Catholic church calendar, so I just named the one thing that stood out in my mind, lol.

      Our church doesn’t really decorate for Christmas. We worship in a gymnasium, and there are always flowers on the podium, and perhaps there were some poinsettias right around Christmas, but there will be nothing Christmassy there when we go this week.

      That varies a lot by church and by denomination.

  13. How about if I’m lazy, procrastinators, AND just enjoy looking at it? 🙂 I LOVE looking at it. That magical feeling when it’s lit up. And you know our tree is real. And 12 feet. We find needles all year long!

  14. We are keeping it at least until Jan-7 – it is Orthodox Christmas. After we celebrate that, we will think about taking it down,

    After all, we put so much work into putting it up, wht take it down so soon?

  15. Ours is still up and it is a factor of laziness, procrastination and sickness. I thought I would take it down this past weekend, but David didn’t get the boxes down for me and no way am I going in the attic.

  16. One of my favorite things about Christmas trees is just sitting in the dark first thing in the morning with only the tree lit. So peaceful and beautiful. It’s hard to let go of that feeling having the tree up produces. Our traditional tree take down day is January 1st.

  17. I think the same thing every single day LOL Not because my tree is beautiful (it’s not, it’s sooo ugly LOL), but because I am just too.lazy – I break out in a sweat just thinking about re-packing everything. I really think real tress would be easier. I hate pulling all of those branches off of the fake trees and trying to get everything to fit back in the box!

  18. My husband and I keep saying that if we every build a house, our family room will have a closet in one corner with a push button. Upon pushing the button, the door will open and a platform will slide out with a fully-decorated Christmas tree on it. At the end of the holidays, we’d push the button again and the platform with tree would slide back into the closet, the door would close, and we’d be done!! 🙂

  19. Beautiful tree – and similar situation here – Christmas is usally taken down by New Year’s Day. . .but not this year. . .BOTH trees are still up, looking gorgeous and happy. . .not sure what makes this year different.


  20. Mine is still up, too! Just last night my husband asked when I wanted to take it down….which means he is ready. Not sure if I’m ready….I enjoy sitting at night in the dark looking at my tree all lit up in the corner of the room. And…..I dread the repackaging of all of the ornaments…blah!

  21. That’s so refreshing to hear, actually. I ALWAYS struggle with not wanting to take mine down, and I hear so many people who really just can’t WAIT to do it! I really don’t know where Al stands on the issue because when it comes to stuff like decorating, he just sorta goes along with my whims, whatever they may be. I’ve discovered a little secret that keeps me happy though. I’ve been adding snowmen-themed decorations to my Christmas things little by little over the past few years. When I take down the Christmas stuff, I leave the snowmen out. They keep things warm and cozy for another month or two and I finally put them away as Spring rounds the corner. 🙂

  22. Wow! How do you do it all? I am an “Empty Nester” now and I still do not accomplish anything near what you do. I think the kids kept me moving much faster than I do now… Thank you for the inspiration.

  23. Uh…our tree is still up (and we’re protestants 🙂 I love it so much. I. Just. Cant. Let.Go. I’m actually thinking about getting one of those large indoor house plants (fig tree or something) and putting on Christmas lights so I can have a sparkly tree year round.

    1. I’ve considered doing that too. We even have the tree, but it’s so dusty, I’m trying not to look at it. LOL

  24. Ours is still up, and not because we’re Catholic. I’m ready to take it down, but laziness plus a healthy does of busy-ness with a sick husband thrown in means it is still there. Making me crazy every time I look at it.

    By the way, the picture is gorgeous. Could go on a card or something. Good job!

  25. Hey, some of us Protestants observe the church calendar and Epiphany, too. But, it doesn’t necessarily regulate how long we leave the tree up… we took ours down on the 3rd… But it is a good excuse if we want to leave it up longer, right? 🙂 It is nice to enjoy some cozy light in the dead of winter.

    1. LOL! Sorry, I forget some Protestants are more “high church” and observe that calendar. Former Baptist, current Presbyterian sitting here behind this computer screen. Even the idea of a church calendar is very new to me! 😉

      I agree about the cozy light in the dead of winter. Perhaps I’ll leave it up till Valentine’s Day! 😉

  26. I took ours down the Monday after Christmas but only because I had to work during the week while everyone else got to chill at home. I didn’t want to stress myself out by looking at all the stuff that needed to be put away. It felt good and I was stress free the rest of the week!

  27. Gorgeous.
    My tree didn’t look half that nice, and I still waited until after the first to take it down. This year, as with most, I just wait until I get that “Christmas is being put away TODAY” feeling…

  28. I don’t blame you one bit. It is simply beautiful and magical. I feel the same way about my tree though it looks much different than yours. (Mine is more eclectic, but magical just the same!)

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