I know that some people find it easier to put the tinsel away before the end of the holidays so the house is tidied up ready for the new year to begin in earnest. Maybe I'm a traditionalist at heart, but I'm a big believer in keeping my tree up for the full 12 days of Christmas. Here are five reasons why:
- The build up to Christmas is huge. As soon as Hallowe'en is over, the shops are full of cards and merchandise. The lights are often switched on in town centres from mid-November and advent starts 4 weeks before the big day - so why end the festivities prematurely? If you're going to celebrate in style, you may as well see it through until the end.
- And talking of endings, Christmas doesn't end until the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings arrived at the stable (it was a long journey and they were on camels). The tradition is that if you took your decorations down before then, the wise men would not be able to find their way as the Christmas lights represent the star of David.
- January is depressing enough - so I like to keep reminders of the festive joy up until the last moment. What better way to remind yourself of your loved ones than seeing all their cards still up around the house through the first week of January.
- Although the longest night was just before Christmas, January is still cold and dark. I love the way the Christmas lights and tinsel add a bit of sparkle and light to life.
- It's a way of delaying the New Year's resolutions. Most resolutions are broken in the first week of January. But by easing yourself into the new year and keeping Christmas going for its full duration, you have an excuse to start your resolutions again on 7th January, when Christmas is put away.
When do you take your Christmas decorations down?