I'm Keeping My Christmas Decorations Up Till Ground Hog's Day.

I don’t know what it’s like where the rest of you live. But where I live, SE Michigan, winter is coming later and later each year. I guess it is because of global warming. (Oh, wait a minute. I can’t say that, because it has never been proven;).)

In any event, taking them down January 1st just seems a waste, to me at least. One method of reckoning the Christmas season says wait until the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th. But I think I may even have a way of going further than that.

A book on Polish cooking I have says they keep it up till Candlemas Day, a/k/a Ground Hog’s Day. And I am Polish, part at least (Polish was my mother’s first language, they say). And it does make sense.

There are the Solstices. And there are the Equinoxes. And then there are the so-called “cross-quarter days”. (Here is where Cecil even goes into the subject, a little.) So really, it stands to reason, the next pagan season doesn’t begin until February 2nd (hey, we were all pagans once).

What do the rest of you think? And is there else anyone with me on this?


Ours are likely to stay up until at least the end of February.

That’s a fair deal. In college, I decorated my apartment for Christmas, and was too lazy to take the stuff down. It was still up when my mom came to visit on my birthday (Groundhog Day), and let me have it for being such a lazy bum. I told her it was my plan all along.

Keep it up til Groundhog Day. Let’s make it a thing.

You’ve gone from A to C, skipping B.

The rule is that you leave them up until the Epiphany then, if the Three Kings see their shadows, it’s four more weeks of Christmas decorations. If the Three Kings do not see their shadows, then you take the decorations down.

I don’t recall what happened with shadows this year.

I’m Polish, and I never heard of a tradition of keeping decorations up until Candlemas. Nobody I grew up with ever did.
On the other hand, here in the Boston area, we joke that people keep their decorations up until the Easter Bunny takes them away (and they’re not even Polish). It stopped being funny when the decorations stayed up even after Easter. I’m constantly amazed that people have the initiative and interest to get wreaths and evergreen “kissing balls” and to put them up in time for Christmas, but then appear to have no interest in taking them down. They’re often still up months later, now withered to a uniform brown that belies the point of hanging up evergreens.
I took a job in Cambridge and was surprised to see a plastic Santa still up on top of a house months after Christmas. As i continued to work there, I saw that the Santa never came down – he was up there all year long. He was there all the years I worked in Cambridge. I think he’s still up. Og only knows how long he was up before I first saw him.

I’m with you. Decorations up until Groundhog Day. Or later. Because, er, if it’s still Winter, then they should still be up, right?

Such a pain.

There’s a tradition followed by some Coloradans to keep Christmas lights up until after the National Western Stock Show, which ends in late January. I was wondering if some of my neighbors were following that tradition this year, but their lights were on last night and the stock show ended on Sunday.

I don’t really care; in fact, I think Christmas lights look pretty all year round. We have some white ones on our back deck that I turn on in the summertime.

I take mine down by Jan 1st, or I feel like I didn’t “finish” the last year. I’m enough of a procrastinator as it is. I don’t need the Christmas lights hanging over me too, reminding me that I’m behind again.

If I decorated, I would *so *follow this rule! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

For the record, I am also of Polish extraction (paternal grandparents, maternal great grandparents came over in the early 1900s) and I never heard of waiting till Feb. I had heard of waiting till Epiphany - our church didn’t put away the crèche till then - but our family generally purged decorations the weekend after New Years Day. I haven’t hung so much as a sprig of holly for the last 12 seasons, and I doubt that I’ll ever bother again.

For What It’s Worth, a Lutheran church I pass going to and from work still has its manger up outside, and lit at night. I don’t recall when they took it down last year.

Depending upon your religious beliefs the Three Kings are either six feet under or angels in Heaven; either way, no shadow.
Physically taking them down is one thing but at least turn them off/unplug them.

I’m with you! My sister told me about Candlemas just this past Christmas, and I decided to go for it.

My Christmas doesn’t start early; it’s Advent up until Christmas Eve. Since I generally spend the Christmas holiday with family in another state, I don’t get to enjoy my decorations or even finish opening my holiday cards until the New Year. I used to keep things up until Epiphany, but figured Candlemas would be even nicer.

My tree is still up, I’m still listening to holiday music on my Pandora station, and as a bonus, I just got a White Christmas! Score!

Maine actually has a (largely unenforced) law on the books that states;
“After January 14th you will be charged a fine for having your Christmas decorations still up.”

Candlemas makes perfect sense. It’s kinda the next thing in the Jesus birth story–when he gets taken to the Temple, forty days after his birth. (well, 39, but the Jewish count is usually inclusive.) It’s when the birth is confirmed to have happened to the rest of the world.

I’d heard of it before, but never made the connection that it was on Groundhog’s day, let alone the connected history.

My tree is down, as are my minimal outside lights. The green porch light and illuminated snowman are still on the porch though since those are seasonal, not necessarily Christmas (my sister and I have discussed this at length). I still have a lighted bough on my bannister and a few little Christmas decos in the living room. It’s just all so cozy.

I take down all the interior decorations around Epiphany but I’m not militant about it. If the weekend works out a couple days earlier or later that’s usually when it gets done.

Outside lights depend on a warm day and the availability of my friend who is not shaky (me) or afraid of heights (husband). I don’t turn them on after Epiphany but they’re hanging there until the circumstances are right to get them down. (ie, still up this year)

In Punxsutawney, they leave the Christmas lights up and turn them on for Groundhog Day. This is not a tradition of great antiquity. The Groundhog Club or Chamber of Commerce started urging the locals to do this in, I think, the late 90s. Now you can just leave your decorations up and claim it isn’t from laziness, it is because you are celebrating Hog Day in the authentic Punxsutawney style.

When I lived up in snow country I never liked the early sunsets of winter. Driving home in the dark was a bummer. But once T-day was over most folks decorated and then I always enjoyed getting into the neighborhood and seeing all the cheery Christmas lights.

Then as it got even colder & darker right after New Years, 90% of them were switched off. Deep bummer. And still 2 months to go until I could drive home in at least twilight.

Over the years I lived there more and more of us left them on until later and later into the winter. I’m all for taking down your Santa & your inflatable Homer snowglobe promptly after XMas. But keep the eaves lighting going until you can get home from work in the daylight.

Would that statute violate the First Amendment?