The 12 Days of Christmas

Hello lovelies!

I hope everyone had a fantastical Christmas (or whatever it is that you do or do not celebrate). Despite a rocky start with the weather being what it was, mine turned out really quite splendid. Also, our ambitious feast for 14 featuring a homemade turducken was nothing short of awesome.

Of course, after two days of maddening prep, then the whirlwind of Christmas Day itself, some serious napping was in order for Boxing Day, and now we’re fully in the thick of a few days holiday visiting.

Really, while all the anticipation and preparation is fun, I really fully feel like it’s time for Christmassing from Christmas day on through until after New Year’s. And while I usually have to be back at work before the 12th day of Christmas (January 6th – the feast day Epiphany for those playing along at home), I stay pretty firmly entrenched in Holiday Mode as close to then as possible.

So personally I’m always a bit taken aback when I see people stripping their house of any trace of festivities at the crack of dawn on December 26th. I’ve seen an increasing number of barren trees, bare walls and dark lights for a couple days now. It’s pretty foreign to me.

Despite the religious roots of the 12 days, I don’t personally keep the tree and lights up here for those reasons, it’s just the way I’ve always experienced the holidays with a group of family and friends who also keep their decorations out for about the same length of time.

And so, gentle readers, I’m curious about you. If you do celebrate Christmas, when do you put up and take down your decorations? Any rhyme or reason for it? Is it a traditional holdover from how Christmas was done when you were small, or your own take on the season?

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7 thoughts on “The 12 Days of Christmas

  1. Mike Nachbaur

    Those “bah-humbug” types annoy me. They seem to be buying into commercialization of the holidays, changing it from a time for family to visit and get all sappy, to a time where you have to drag all the decorations down as fast as possible so you have room for the next set of crappy decorations.

  2. crissy

    Ever year we have the best of intentions to get the tree up for December 1st, but that has yet to happen. The tree is generally decorated the first week of December, and the lights in the window, etc are lit at that time as well.

    The tree, lights and all decorations stay up until about January 2/3 or so.

    There is no way I’d take it all down on December 26! The holiday season continues, for me at least, until the New Year.

  3. econoholic

    >Hello lovelies!

    I hope you weren’t purposely excluding me from this post!

    I always heard the rule was Thanksgiving to New Years the tree can stay up.

    Mike Nachbaur, easy there! I don’t know if it’s worth being that annoyed about. They may be taking them down for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are trying to save electricity or make more room to invite more family. Or maybe they are taking it down earlier because they see others taking them down earlier. Or perhaps they took their vacations early and don’t want to leave the job of taking everything down for after they have to go back to work. It doesn’t *have* to be that the root is commercialization. Maybe it’s just punctuality!

  4. Airdrie

    I am impressed: I’ve only read of the elusive turducken. ftw. Next time you make that, please consider inviting me over. I’ll bring pie.

    My tree came down on boxing day because a) it was real and b) we were planning to leave town. I did now want to come home to a pile of needles.

  5. Derek K. Miller

    As Air noted, this year we took out the tree to avoid dry needle-spraying deadliness, which we had the last time we left a real tree up way too long — and was the reason this was our first real tree in over a decade, since before our kids were born. Otherwise we have previously decorated the house on or before the crack of December, and had stuff up a bit too long into January.

    It feels a bit more special this year, actually, when we put the tree up on December 15 and had it down on the 26th. The briefness made the enjoyment more intense. Had we not been leaving for a few days, it would have persisted a tad longer.

    Oh, and I should note that excellent sex advice columnist Dan Savage has said that as long as gay marriage is illegal in his country, it should also be forbidden to make turducken, which is even more wrong. But since we’re fine with marriages hetero or homo here in Canada, I guess Canucken turducken is okay too.

  6. April

    My tree and decorations go up no later than the 5th of December and everything comes down on New Years Day. That’s the way my Mom always did and I just follow suit! The other way is just sad!

  7. jen

    When I was little I’d try to get my parents to keep the Christmas stuff out as long as possible. It was usually put away by the time we went back to school in January but I always tried to prolong the Christmas magic as much as possible.

    Since I’ve had a home of my own to decorate and Christmasify, I really enjoy packing everything away on Boxing Day and being done with Christmas. I think it’s partly anticipation of the New Year and having a clean, fresh start and I also see Christmas dinner as being the Grand Finale and once the main event is over it’s time to move on. We have a live tree which can only be inside for 7-10 days and I prefer to bring it in 7-10 days before Christmas rather than keep it inside afterwards. We also live in a small space so it’s nice to get stuff packed up and put away.

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