Why do people extend Christmas way beyond the normal time?

My family started decorating for Christmas the week before the 25th and took down the tree and all the cards and decorations New Year’s Day. Everyplace I have lived, there are a few people, whose outside decorations anyway, are still up until March and some even have wreaths on their doors until June. Why is this?

Laziness. My mom once kept her tree up for over a year. It was fake, so at least it wasn’t a giant fire hazard, unlike my dad’s tree which is real and usually up for several months. I think the latest he’s had his up was through May 2. The next day was his birthday and apparently that helped to clue him in that it was no longer appropriate to have a Christmas tree up.

Historically, the holiday season began on Christmas and ran through Epiphany, January 6 (hence the twelve days of Christmas). By tradition it was ok to keep decorations up through Candlemas (noted in the US as Groundhog Day) February 2, which is the halfway mark between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. So the month of January is ok but anything beyond that you’re just lazy.

In the Midwest, or any region where winter is long and cold and dark, I think some people leave their outdoor decorations up because it brightens things up – they’re cheery, not just Christmasy.

Also, sometimes it’s fairly warm in late November when you put them up, but it can be damn cold (and icy and snowy) when it’s time to take them down.

I don’t have an answer about the indoor stuff though. Maybe people just like looking at them. Some of that stuff is expensive, and it might take a long time to arrange it. Maybe they just want to get their money’s worth out of it.

I put off taking down the menorahs for a while after Hanukkah is over. But I put off almost every other household chore I have to do, too, unless something is forcing me to get it done by a certain time. Nothing bad happens as a result of leaving the menorahs up for a few more days, unlike what would happen if I put off, say, doing the dishes (the sink would be full of dishes and there would be no clean dishes).

Decorating for Christmas is fun.

Taking down the lights in 20 degree weather - not so much.

My day would wait until the first warm day to pull out the ladder to take 'em down.

I’ll argue from the other side. As we speak, the decorations are calling my name.

I am about to do battle with the white net lighting that will go on all the front scrubbery that lines the front of the house, the red rope lighting that I will wrap around the tree trunk and some of the major limbs on the one tree out front, and the white string of lights that will hang from the eaves of the house.

Nearly every year the SO and I get in an argument regarding this. Its GOTTOA go up the day after thanksgiving. Doesnt matter if I am sick, its fricking nasty as hell that day, or something else critical has come up. In her mind its gotta go up NOW. Me, if its cold as shit on Friday, but its gonna be nice Sunday, its going up on Sunday if I am the one doing it.

And then, its GOTTA go down on Jan 1st. Her same rules for taking down as putting up, and my same guidelines for taking down. Which I could understand if it was giant Santa’s or elves or Nativity scenes or some such.

But its just fricking pretty lights. And, once its up it looks nice IMO. And a rather subtle and simple nice too, not an in your face look at ME kinda “nice”. It takes the edge off of the evening gloom and darkness and crappy winter weather.

Me, I’d kinda like to keep em up a few more weeks to maybe even into mid-Feb depending on what the weather was doing. Tide us over until the hope of spring is just around the corner. Those things are a pain to put up, IMO lets enjoy em a bit. Once they are up I really like em actually.

But every year its a battle with the resident decoration/light nazi. One year it was sooo bad they NEVER got put up. And a couple years where they were taken down RIGHT fucking now (by me) with both extreme duress and lack of care for their future operability.

Least this year the SO is gone right now, the weather is nice, and I can at least put them up in peace.