It's the time of year to think about Christmas home décor: the takedown.
The 12 days of Christmas begin December 25 and end, well, now. Traditionally trees went up December 24 and down at the end of the first week of January.
But nowadays many people put up their Fraser firs Thanksgiving weekend. That means that by now, the evergreens are dried out and scrawny – on their way to being a firefighter's nightmare. So reluctantly, many families are putting them at the ends of their driveways.
And yet the outdoor decorations still look comparatively festive and safe.
What's the solution? Do we need to pack up all the Christmas supplies now? Or can the outside Christmas decorations, at least, stay up a little longer?
"I feel as though New Year's is a good time to take them down," says my 13-year-old. "It's not really Christmastime any more."
Not so fast. "Christmastime technically lasts until January 6," says my 16-year-old, who, like me, is in no rush to get rid of the outdoor décor. "It's sad for a lot of people when everything disappears Christmas day, when everything is so abruptly over,"" she says.
This year my family went with a multi-phase, gradual approach. We took down the needle-shedding tree, along with the stockings hung by the chimney with care and the snow village on the coffee table.
But we're letting the fake (but tasteful!) snowman and strands of lights remain outside of our house – at least for now. Sure, the front-door wreath, door charms, and garlands on the railings are looking a little droopy. Yet they're still cheerier than the plain alternative (especially at night, when they're lit up).
My husband is on board with the slow goodbye to Christmas, though he doesn't want the decorations to become a permanent fixture. "You certainly don't want them still sitting out in February," he says.
But maybe I do! It's a long wait until next Christmas season.
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