When Should You Remove Your Holiday Lights? - Home & Texture
Home Removing Holiday Lights

The Great Takedown Debate: When Should You Remove Your Holiday Lights After the Holiday Is Over?

December 17, 2023 at 7:45 AM PST

Decorating your home with holiday lights can add a festive touch to your space. Not only do they make your living space look more beautiful, but they also promote feelings of coziness and warmth. But when the holiday is officially over, taking them down can be a pain. So much so, that many people leave their lights up well past the holiday.

Why Removing Holiday Lights Is Such a Big Deal

The question of when to take down holiday lights has been a topic of lighthearted debate for some time. Many people argue that keeping up holiday decorations past their prime takes away from the significance of the actual holiday. Others argue that not removing them after the holiday looks tacky, thus bringing down the curb appeal of the rest of the neighborhood.

But of course, there are always two sides to every argument. And those in favor of keeping holiday lights up say that the festive decor adds a cheerful ambiance during the winter months when it’s cold and dark. Not to mention, there are quite a few holidays that extend past December, such as Kwanzaa, which runs until January 1, or Orthodox Christmas, which extends until January 7.

Photo credit: Steve Smith

When To Remove Holiday Lights After the Holiday Is Over

At the end of the day, the decision on when to remove your festive decor is entirely up to you. For many people, their personal values and beliefs have a lot to do with when they feel is the right time. Because of this, it’s important to make a decision based on what feels right for you and your house.

For ideas on when to start the takedown process, here are seven common times people remove their holiday lights:

December 26

Many people who celebrate Christmas consider the holidays to be over after Christmas Day. As a result, a lot of people start to take down their holiday lights on the day after to mark the end of the holiday season.

January 1

With every new year comes new beginnings. Leaving holiday lights and decor up past the first day of the year may feel like holding on to the past instead of looking to the future. Because of this, many people decide to take their holiday decorations down on January 1 to start the new year on the right foot.

Photo credit: Thomas Barwick

January 6

Epiphany — also known as Theophany — is an Eastern Christian holiday that starts on January 6. It marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas, which is why many people who commemorate the big day leave up their holiday decor until after this date.

Second Weekend in January

Holiday decor isn’t always cheap, so many people try to get the most use out of their decorations by leaving them up until mid-January. The second weekend in January is a popular time to remove festive decor because it’s at least a couple of weeks after Christmas. Plus, work and school are back in session by that time, making the weekend the perfect time to tackle the chore.

Before Putting Up Valentine’s Decor

Another popular time to take down holiday lights is right before Valentine’s Day rolls around. The start of another major holiday is the perfect reason to refresh your home decor. On top of that, it falls in the middle of February, giving you plenty of time to get some use out of your holiday lights.

When the Weather Warms Up

While not extremely common, some people leave their lights up even past Valentine’s Day into late February or mid-March when the weather starts to heat up. As the temperature rises, displaying holiday lights from last winter can start to feel out of place. So if you prefer to enjoy your decorations for a little while longer, leaving them until it gets warmer might be a good idea.



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