When to take Christmas decorations down – according to experts

Experts have the answer to the annual debate about when to take Christmas decorations down. This is the day to mark on your new calendars

Christmas decorations before they are taken down
(Image credit: Max Attenborough)

When to take Christmas decorations down? It's an age-old debate, but as you indulge in the last of the festivities, thoughts may be turning to the conclusion of the holidays – and how to get your home back to its pre-Christmas scheme. However, the exact date for the job is an annual source of debate amongst households. So, we caught up with the experts – to settle the debate – once and for all. 

Sharing his post-Christmas decor ideas Mac Harman, the CEO of luxury Christmas tree company, Balsam Hill (opens in new tab) revealed the day that you need to know. This is when to take your Christmas decorations down, according to those who should know. 

When to take your Christmas decorations down 

Christmas tree topper ideas with a straw star on top of the tree

(Image credit: Future)

'Largely, we've found the majority of people like to take their trees down the first week of January, with most taking theirs down on the 12th Day of Christmas (January 5th) or the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th),' Mac explains. 

These dates follow Christian tradition – with the Twelfth Night' being the arrival of the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Some denominations, including the Catholic Church, begin their count on Boxing Day, meaning the Epiphany falls on the 6th. Meanwhile, others begin their count on Christmas Day, meaning the 12th Night is on January 5th. 

Is it bad luck to leave your decorations up for too long?  

Christmas tree look fuller

(Image credit: Future)

Some people believe it is bad luck to leave their decorations up beyond the Epiphany, but that depends on your superstitions. So, while the 5th and 6th January remain popular, Mac explains that you can take your decorations down whenever you please – as long as your tree is not dropping needles on your floor. 

Is it bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up?

No, it is not bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up. In fact, it's a modern idea to take Christmas decorations down on the 5th or 6th January. In Medieval times in the United Kingdom, people kept their Christmas decorations up until Candlemas – or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ – which falls on 2nd February. 

This was an important date in the Christian calendar, and traditionally there would be a banquet and candlelit procession on that day, plus candles for the year to come would be blessed in church – hence the name of the celebration.

How to store decorations for next year 

Christmas table centerpiece with blue walls and wreaths

(Image credit: Dan Duchars/Future)

Once you have decided on the best day to remove your decorations, Mac shares his Christmas tree ideas so you can store your tree and ornaments effortlessly. 

'It may seem a bit obvious but another last sweep to check you've got all the decorations off the tree is vital to avoid any unwanted damage to tree and ornaments,' he says. 'If your tree is pre-lit, you'll also want to ensure your lights are unplugged from the wall. Many larger trees will come in several sections, be sure to detach the lights of each section of your tree.' 

Mac also recommends picking up a storage bag that will protect your tree and ornaments until next December. 'Your bag needs to be large enough to comfortably hold your tree and made from durable material so that it can't be torn by protruding branches - rip-stop nylon is a great option for this,' he says. 

Once your Christmas decorations are down, you are left with a fresh palette to experiment with the biggest interior design trends of the new year. Though, whether your experimentation begins on the 5th or the 6th is entirely up to you…  

Megan Slack
News Editor

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.