Wednesday, 2 January 2008

The Trees of Christmas Past

To tree or not to tree...

I still currently have a 7ft tall crackin christmas tree in my living room, apparently the appropriate date to remove said tree is on the 6th of January on the feast of the Epiphany? but I recently found out that the date of that celebration is the 12th day of January? hence those 12 days of christmas... Ahhh no, that's not right, the 6th of January, is apparantly the 12th day AFTER Christmas! I'll get it right yet :)

Christmas was great this year, but it didn't seem to have the same great excitement that it usually does, not as many people had their Las Vegas style decorations and lights on the exterior of their houses in late November, few taxi drivers asked me "well.... you have all in for Christmas love?", not sure if thats the reason, but I find the idea of keeping my tree up until the 6th of January this year quite depressing.

Who says I should anyway? After much extensive research on the web (well ok, a five minute google search) I have discovered the following:

"You take the tree down on or after the 12th day of Christmas; the 6th of January. The 6th of January is celebrated as 'three kings' in a lot of countries (France, Belgium and the south of the Netherlands that I'm sure of, all Catholic regions). The story is that Jesus was born on the 24th, at which point a star appeared in the sky and the kings, who had to travel much farther than the sheperds, set off, and arrived 12 days later. That is why Christmas lasts for 12 days, but only in some traditions."

"Take down the Christmas Tree and all decorations BEFORE the new year. You are celebrating the birth of Christ in one year and even though I have heard it is bad luck to leave it up after the 1st, it just seems logical to take it down before the year is over."

"My wife says her tradition is to take down decorations and not turn on the lights after New Year's Eve. She says it is bad luck to bring the old year into the new. Frankly, I miss not having the lights on on New Year's Day. It always seemed more festive for the holiday."

"In the liturgical calendar the Twelve Days start on December 25th, and the Twelfth Night is January 5th, which is when we traditionally take down the decorations."

"Liturgically Jan 6th is ABSOLUTELY the correct day to take down the decorations. Do it when you are on your own & hubby and the kids are out, a large drop of left over liquid christmas cheer is recomended before starting to make the chore more palitable."

Okay, well as always there is no right or wrong answer, but I agree with the comment that it does look more festive to have Christmas lights on on New Year's Eve, besides which, if you're celebrating Christmas, it doesn't liturgically end until the wise men come... but when it comes down to it you can take down YOUR Christmas Tree, when YOU bloomin well want to!

As for me... I'm takin it down tomorrow, then I'll look forward to a repeat performance next Christmas :)


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