How long do you keep your christmas tree up
When to Take Your Christmas Tree Down, According to Tradition
Whether you put your Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving or on Christmas Eve, the sad truth is that eventually it will have to come down. Goodbye, bright lights, pretty ribbons, and DIY ornaments—until next year, that is! The question is, when exactly should you take down your Christmas tree? Some people want to enjoy their festive display as long as possible, while others start dismantling their decor the day after Christmas. While it's ultimately up to you to decide when to start storing your decorations, there are actually some rules about when to take down a Christmas tree, regardless of whether it's real or artificial.
Here’s the history behind when and why you should take down your Christmas tree by a certain date.
How did the tradition of Christmas trees start?
Though there’s some debate, most historians think the Christmas tree has roots in Christianity and first became popular in Germany in the Middle Ages. "Paradise trees" were decorated with apples, communion wafers, or cookies and displayed in homes on December 24, the Christian feast day of Adam and Eve. Religious reformer Martin Luther supposedly added candles in the 1500s, and by the 19th century, German-born Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, popularized the idea in England. Victorian trees were decorated with toys, candies, and popcorn strings. As Germans migrated, they brought their trees to other countries, and Christmas trees finally became popular in America by the 1870s.
When should a Christmas tree be taken down?
According to tradition, a Christmas tree should be kept up until 12 nights after Christmas. In the Christian religion, the Christmas season ends on the Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6. This marks the date when the Three Kings arrived to bring gifts to baby Jesus, and reportedly dictates the best time to take down your holiday decorations—including the Christmas tree. Some people even believe that waiting too long after the Twelfth Night to take the tree down could bring bad luck!
Of course, when to take down your Christmas tree is a personal choice. That said, those with live trees need to be a little more careful.
When should you take a Christmas tree down to avoid a fire?
Fresh trees can last a month or more if you know how to keep a Christmas tree alive. The trick? The absolute freshest tree is one you buy locally and cut down yourself, ideally at one of the best Christmas tree farms in your area. If it’s a pre-cut tree, sap can seal off the bottom of the tree and prevent it from taking up water in the stand, so make a fresh cut straight across the trunk, removing about a ¼-inch disk from the bottom.
Adam C Bartlett//Getty Images
Most importantly, make sure your tree stand holds a quart of water per inch of stem diameter; for most trees, you’ll need a Christmas tree stand that holds at least a gallon. And don’t get lazy! Check the stand daily. Some stands still may have water but the trunk isn’t submerged, so get down and take a look to be on the safe side.
Once your tree starts to get crispy, extra dry, or drop tons of needles, it can become a fire hazard. The good news is that Christmas tree fires aren’t as common as you might suspect—though that doesn’t mean they don’t happen at all. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to about 160 home fires that start with Christmas trees per year. In most cases, the fire was caused by faulty lighting or electrical issues, while heat sources such as candles too close to the tree caused fires about 20 percent of the time. That means it’s important to inspect your lights and toss them whenever they’re damaged or frayed and to keep your tree away from candles and heat sources such as the fireplace.
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Arricca Elin Sansone
Arricca SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman's Day, and more. She’s passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.
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When to Take Down Your Christmas Tree
There's absolutely nothing wrong with decorating early for Christmas—in fact, we're here for it. (Year-round Christmas stores and Hallmark Christmas movies exist for a reason, right?!) And although the argument continues about how early is too early, another debate is stirring: When should you take your Christmas tree and other holiday decorations down? There are plenty of folks who leave their homes all twirled up until New Year's Day or beyond. Or perhaps you're in the camp of immediately taking your Christmas tree down on December 26. But there's actually some interesting history behind putting it all away that may help inform your packing-up-the-Christmas-decorations date.
To help you answer the question of when to take down Christmas decorations, we're breaking down everything there is to know about dismantling your Christmas tree right here.When do you take down your Christmas tree? Does it have to be by a certain day?
Some people put their tree away the day after Christmas; others wait until the first or second week of January. So, which is right? As with most things, it depends on who you ask.
There are tons Christmas fanatics who start decorating as soon as the Thanksgiving plates are cleared (if not right after Halloween!) and keep their Christmas tree up for as long as possible. After all, according to experts, putting your holiday decorations up early could make you feel happier, so it makes sense that leaving them up could have the same effect. And who wouldn't want that? Others feel the need for the Christmas clutter to be cleaned up as soon as the last gift is opened. So when should you put your tree away? The short answer is: Do whatever feels right for you!
Is there history behind when to take down your Christmas tree?
For those who keep Christ in Christmas, this information may inform your decision a bit. According to Catholic religion, you should hold off taking down your Christmas tree until January 7. Although many believe that the 12 days of Christmas are the days leading to December 25 (that’s thanks to popular songs and movies that represent it that way), in Catholicism, the 12 days actually start on December 25 and last through January 6, which is known as Epiphany (or when the Three Wise Men came to visit Jesus). Once Epiphany is over, it’s time to toss the tree. So when to take down Christmas decorations in Catholic church is more than a full week following Christmas Day—not just when you want a fresh start to the New Year, which for many includes the house going back to normal.
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$35 at AmazonWhen should you take down your Christmas tree to avoid a fire hazard?
Now here's a very important point that’s imperative to keep in mind. If you opt for a real Christmas tree, you should consider how long it will last before drying out. Most home and garden centers will tell you that the five-week mark is when a real Christmas tree starts to become a fire hazard.
But if you want to keep your Christmas tree alive as long as possible, check the water levels daily and refill as needed, and you can likely stretch the life of your tree to six weeks. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the needles—if you notice they’re turning yellow or brown or feel crunchy to the touch, it’s time to take your Christmas tree out to the curb. If that thought shatters your heart, there’s always a solution: artificial Christmas trees (there are so many out there that look like the real thing!) or potted Christmas trees you can replant.
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Who was the first to decorate the Christmas tree - DW - 12/25/2008
25 December 2008
Now, probably, no one can imagine the celebration of the New Year without Christmas . Meanwhile, the custom of decorating a Christmas tree appeared relatively recently.
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Everyone has long been accustomed to the fact that the Christmas tree is an essential attribute of Christmas and New Year. It is no coincidence that it is called in German: Weihnachtsbaum - "Christmas tree". But it was not always so.
The custom of dressing up this coniferous tree has existed for only a few hundred years. And he was born in Germany. True, the evergreen spruce has been used by man in various rituals since ancient times. Spruce branches decorated the dwellings of the Germanic tribes even before they adopted Christianity: they were supposed to drive away the evil spirits of darkness and cold.
However, the mention of the first decorated Christmas trees dates back to 1605. A medieval chronicler described the Christmas holiday in German-speaking Alsace (on the territory of today's France) as follows: "For Christmas, Christmas trees are set up in houses, and roses made of colored paper, apples, cookies, sugar cubes and tinsel are hung on their branches."
"Christmas trees" first appeared in the homes of wealthy merchants and nobles. In addition, gilded apples and garlands of nuts in medieval Germany were decorated not only with spruces, but also with pines, as well as branches of cherry trees and beeches. In addition, this custom was first spread in the Protestant regions of Germany. In Catholic regions, the Christmas tree was considered a pagan symbol for many decades.
Angels next to carrots
It was only in the 19th century that the Christmas tree finally became an obligatory attribute of Christmas. In its first half, spruces began to be regularly installed in the royal and royal palaces of France, Germany, England, Denmark, Norway and Russia. But later, festively decorated Christmas trees lost their elitism: ordinary people began to buy them at Christmas markets.
The Christmas tree was decorated differently in different regions of Germany. The first glass ball for it was blown in Thuringia about 400 years ago. Somewhere potatoes or apples were hung on branches, somewhere - gingerbread, carrots or nuts. Festive decoration was complemented by paper stars, snowflakes, garlands, figurines of angels.
In 1850, in the same Thuringia, the industrial production of Christmas decorations began: craftsmen made bells, hearts, figurines of birds and animals, balls, cones, nuts from glass and wood . ..
Fashion dictates the nature of decorationthe same time appeared on the Christmas tree and lighting. For a long time, decorating it with candles was considered a privilege of the nobility and wealthy burghers. The rest simply could not afford to burn expensive candles made of natural beeswax "for beauty" and therefore had to admire the magnificence of Christmas tree lights in the windows of wealthy houses.
Only in the 19th century, when candles became much cheaper because they were made from stearin, they appeared on Christmas trees and in the homes of people of more modest means. And later, of course, they gave way to garlands of electric light bulbs.
Around 1870, the Christmas tree finally took on the form we know today: with balls, figurines, lights and tinsel. However, her decoration, like that of a coquettish girl, is subject to constant changes in capricious fashion. So, in the 17th century, the rich held in high esteem the then fabulously expensive toys made of glass and porcelain, hand-painted by famous craftsmen, while the poor used fruits and paper decorations. During the industrial revolution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, models of bicycles, cars, steam locomotives and airplanes appeared on its branches.
Germans have a powerful Christmas tree decoration industry that has been established in Germany to keep a close eye on the vagaries of Christmas fashion. They are produced by a dozen large and about forty small enterprises. In this area, Germany does not yet know serious competitors among other countries of the European Union. Moreover, the Germans not only use toys themselves, but also export them.
Christmas decorations worth several tens of millions of euros are sold to other countries every year. More than half of exports go to the USA. Austria, Switzerland and Italy are also regular major clients of German craftsmen.
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tree and holiday history, legends, facts| WikiDedmoroz.ru
Christmas tree is a coniferous tree that is decorated for the New Year, as well as a holiday named after it. In Russia, she is affectionately, as if alive, called the forest beauty. Her presence at the New Year's celebration is mandatory. The Christmas tree, as the most important attribute of the holiday, did not immediately become commonplace in our culture. Its fascinating history in Russia spans approximately 300 years.
The story of the Christmas tree is similar to that of Cinderella. For a long time, it did not evoke bright positive emotions in our ancestors. She is prickly, unkind, sprouting in uncomfortable swampy places. Coniferous branches cover the last path of a person going to another world.
Writers also did not favor the Christmas tree. I immediately recall “War and Peace” by L.N. Tolstoy. The writer, through a description of nature, conveys the inner state of his hero: “Look, the crushed dead fir trees are sitting, always lonely ...” But years will pass, and a miracle will happen. "Dead Spruce" will turn into a charming Cinderella. She, elegant, will come to the holiday and will give a lot of joy, happiness and cause genuine delight.
Legends of the Christmas tree
Before becoming an indispensable attribute of the New Year, the tree first took pride of place on the Christmas holiday. There are many legends in world culture that tell beautiful stories about how this happened. Let's take one of them.
After the birth of the Infant Christ in the Bethlehem cave, trees from all over the earth came to bow to him. A local beautiful palm tree came, which proudly took first place. Then maples, birches, poplars, eucalyptus and other trees gathered from foreign countries. Finally, to distant Palestine, having traveled a long way, the modest northern Christmas tree reached the last. She stood in the shade of large trees, and she was not visible.
But suddenly, a real Christmas miracle happened. Dazzlingly beautiful stars began to fall from the sky to the earth. They landed on the northern guest and decorated it. So the tree, turning into Cinderella, became the most beautiful tree in the world. Since then, people have always decorated it for Christmas.
The emergence of the custom of decorating the Christmas tree in Germany
It has been found that the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree originates in Germany. This happens, according to researchers, in the XVI-XVII centuries. Who first suggested decorating a spruce tree is not known for certain. The opinion of researchers differs. Some believe that this happened in Alsace. It is known that the authorities of one of the cities instructed the forester to cut down the Christmas tree for them, and several decades later, written sources report that the custom has become general.
Another legend connects the appearance of the Christmas tree with the religious reformer Martin Luther, who began to install and decorate Christmas trees in his house. The authority of the religious figure was so great that many of his compatriots soon followed his example. An engraving has survived to our time, in which Martin Luther is depicted next to a decorated Christmas tree.
The new custom spread rapidly in Germany, and by the middle of the 18th century it was becoming ubiquitous. Christmas trees are decorated with flowers made of colored paper, gold foil, apples wrapped in gold and silver paper, sugar and other sweets are hung on the tree. In addition, candles are lit on the festive tree.
From Germany, the custom of the Christmas tree gradually spreads to other European countries, and soon crosses the ocean and is established in America.
Acquaintance with the Christmas tree in Russia
Since 1700, the inhabitants of Russia, according to the Decree of Peter the Great, decorated the facades of houses and courtyards with coniferous trees and branches. However, with the death of the king-transformer, the tradition gradually died out.
A separate article has been written about the decree of Peter the Great "On the celebration of the New Year".
Russian people saw the Christmas tree as an attribute of the Christmas holiday in the 20-30s of the XIX century. Many Germans lived in St. Petersburg at that time. It is through them that the first acquaintance with the new Christmas rite takes place. Moving to Russia, the former residents of Germany tried to preserve their home traditions.
For the first time, the wife of the emperor Alexandra Feodorovna introduced the people of St. Petersburg to the Christmas tree. At first, she arranged home Christmas trees for members of her family, and in the 30s she began to invite representatives of the St. Petersburg nobility to the holiday. At the same time, society is aware that the Christmas tree is an overseas invention that has nothing to do with the Russian ritual tradition.
For example, in the works of A.S. Pushkin never mentions it. Apparently, the poet simply did not know about her. Recall, "Eugene Onegin" - "an encyclopedia of Russian life." The fifth chapter is devoted to a detailed description of the preparation of Christmas and Christmas divination. But not a word about the tree. Also does not remember the Christmas tree and M.Yu. Lermontov, but the action of his "Masquerade" takes place just on Christmas.
But all of a sudden it seemed to burst. From the second half of the 40s, the Christmas tree gradually began to come into use of the wealthy part of St. Petersburg society, and by the middle of the 50s and 60s it occupied an important place on the Christmas holiday. From the capital, the Christmas tree is gradually spreading throughout Russia, conquering the estates of landowners and wealthy citizens in the provinces. The German idea is rapidly becoming a Russian Christmas custom.
One of the reasons for the rapid entry of the Christmas tree into the homes of the inhabitants of Russia was the great popularity, one might even say, love for Hoffmann's Christmas tale "The Nutcracker". In 1839, the ode to the fairy tale was published as a separate book. Decades later, in 1892, the premiere of the ballet of the same name by P. I.
At the same time, the Christmas tree remained inaccessible to entertainment for ordinary citizens. Sometimes the children of servants or peasants were invited to the homes of landowners or wealthy citizens so that they could admire the beauty of the forest and take part in the Christmas holiday.
How the Christmas tree was organized for children before 1917
The organization of the Christmas tree has always been shrouded in mystery. Parents believed that they were preparing a wonderful surprise for their children, which in fact was true.
It was believed that children should not see the Christmas tree ahead of time. Therefore, she was secretly carried into the house, installed in the largest room and began to dress up. Children were strictly forbidden to take part in this action. Various delicacies and decorations made of paper were hung on the branches, candles were always attached. Rich people could even hang real jewelry on the Christmas tree.
Just like now, gifts for children were placed under the Christmas tree: soldiers, horses, drums, toy dishes, dolls…
While parents and guests were cleaning the Christmas tree, the children were in a separate room; , they couldn't. It was not easy to be patient and withstand these bans. Moreover, adults tried in every possible way to keep the intrigue. They answer children's questions about the Christmas tree evasively - they will never say directly that the Christmas tree is being prepared for the meeting of children.
Finally, the long-awaited moment comes - and the doors swing open. The picture of a luminous elegant forest beauty causes real delight, comparable to a miracle, with immersion in a fairy tale.
Children rejoice, rejoice, clap their hands, look with pleasure at the toys and sweets hanging on it. And then there comes a moment that would cause us great bewilderment today. The tree only stands for one day. And at the end of the holiday, it is given to the children at their full disposal.
They literally pounce on a tree, pluck toys and sweets from it, knock down, destroy and break branches. Nothing remains of the former forest beauty. In those years, this kind of action was called "destroying the Christmas tree. " Memories of the Christmas holiday and the Christmas tree for many children become the happiest moments of life.
How the Christmas tree was celebrated in the Soviet Union
The godless authorities that came to power after the 1917 revolution did not favor the Christmas tree as an attribute of the Christmas holiday. In the 1920s there were still Christmas markets, Christmas trees were sold, and parents arranged good family holidays for their children. But in 1929, the day off for Christmas was canceled, along with the New Year. Frantic anti-religious propaganda is unfolding in the country, the tree is banned. Propaganda posters of that time are characterized by such slogans: “Parents, do not confuse us: do not make Christmas and a Christmas tree!”
This continued until 1935, when it was decided at the top that the Christmas tree and the merry New Year's holiday should be restored.
For details, see the article of the encyclopedia "History of Santa Claus"
Thousands of Christmas trees are organized for children all over the country. Trees and Christmas decorations immediately appear on sale. Only now the Christmas tree is becoming an attribute of the New Year holiday, which is replacing the Christmas holiday everywhere. Christmas decorations have an ideological connotation. Instead of golden apples and flowers, planes, tanks, paratroopers, soldiers, and many toys with Soviet symbols appear.
Soviet Christmas traditions are taking shape. Special methodological literature is published for teachers and pioneer workers, analyzing the practical experience of holding Christmas trees in the Soviet country.
The Christmas tree festival acquires new traditions, which, in general terms, are preserved to this day. The obligatory guests of the Christmas tree are Ded Moro and the Snow Maiden. The winter wizard usually appears in the middle of the action. You need to call him several times to come visit.
Lighting of fires becomes an obligatory element of the New Year's holiday. Under the guidance of Santa Claus, all participants in the holiday say a magic New Year's spell three times: “One, two, three! Shine Christmas tree!" Around the dressed-up forest beauty they dance, they sing the main New Year's song “A Christmas tree was born in the forest . ..” in chorus. At the end of the holiday, the winter wizard distributes gifts to children. Sometimes, in order to receive a present, children read simple rhymes, sing songs and dance.
About the history of the New Year spell "One, two, three! Christmas tree, burn!" written a separate article.
Main and Kremlin Christmas Trees of the country
Christmas trees held in Moscow, first in the House of Unions, and then in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, receive the status of the main Christmas tree. After moving to the KDS, the main Christmas tree is also called the Kremlin. The children of the entire country of the Soviets dream of getting to the Kremlin Christmas tree of the country. Initially, the best students of the capital's schools are invited to it. Subsequently, especially distinguished children from other parts of the Soviet Union come to Moscow.
In modern Russia, the main Christmas tree is the spruce, which is installed on the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin. This first happened in December 1996. In different years, due to climatic conditions, a living tree was replaced with an artificial one.
In 2019, a 90-year-old tree 27 meters high was chosen as the main Christmas tree of Russia. The lower branches of the beauty were 6 meters wide. She lived in the Borodino forestry of the Mozhaisk district of the Moscow region.
The search for the main Christmas tree is a very important and responsible business. They start a few months before the New Year. Sometimes, in order to pick up the “right” beautiful tree, helicopter reconnaissance and photography are carried out. Several trees are planned for the role of the first forest beauty, which must meet certain parameters. Age - over 90 years old, height - more than 25 meters, diameter at the place of its log - more than 70 centimeters.
Selected from hundreds of similar trees, the main Christmas tree arrives in Moscow by a special road train, and is delivered directly to the Kremlin through the Spassky Gates.
Then comes the equally important stage of decorating the Christmas tree, which lasts several days and is always thought out in advance. A garland is being prepared, exceeding a kilometer in length, non-standard large balls and toys are ordered. The star of Bethlehem is installed on top of the modern main Christmas tree.
Interesting facts about the Christmas trees of the world
Do you know that there are so-called floating Christmas trees in the world. Trees are installed on specially prepared rafts and sent on a journey through the water element. The most famous and tallest is the artificial Christmas tree, which is installed annually in Rio de Janeiro on Lake Lagoa. The weight of metal structures supporting the tree is more than 50 tons, and the height of the beauty is 85 meters.
The most expensive Christmas tree was once installed in the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi. She could rightly be called the main beauty. The authors and sponsors of the project did not stint on decorating the tree with real jewels.