On the beat: 01/06

When to un-decorate?

By Jim Bucher
Well, have you recovered? Did the Christmas season knock you for a loop?

All the pushing and shoving at the mall; gosh, hope I didn’t hurt anyone.

The gifts have been distributed with – hopefully – minimal returns. And the last of the ripped up wrapping paper is in its proper place: the trash receptacle at the curb.

Now it’s time to relax and … wait a minute, hold on a second, the decorations are still up. Just when you thought Christmas was a done deal, and you were looking forward to a new year, there’s still one more flippin’ task.

So, when is the proper time to dismantle the tree, pack away those blinking lights from the front bushes and deflate your Charlie Brown gigantic snow globe?

Well, according to my Catholic brothers and sisters, traditionally Christmas trees and other holiday decorations don’t come down until January 7, the day after Epiphany.

The 12 Days of Christmas (you probably know the song) either begin on Christmas Day or the day after, depending on the church tradition; the period before that is Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas.

The 12 days of Christmas end on Epiphany, the day the three wise men came to pay homage to the child Jesus.

Now that’s tradition, but according to my Dayton City Paper peeps, whom I asked about this very topic, the actual date of un-decorating varies.

Shiela says, “On New Year’s Day.”

Katrina comes up with, “January 2.”

My buddy Kim Faris from Hot Country B94.5 is a traditionalist, “Either on January 6, which is the Epiphany, or January 9 on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It depends how good I am at talking Steve (my husband) into keeping it all up!”

Traci says, “January 1 usually, but started tonight ready to begin a new year!”

Nell sticks with her family’s tradition: “My mother’s family (Georgetown, OH) always left the decorations up until the 12th day of Christmas, so I do the same.”

Drew waits a bit: “July!” he said.

Shelli has one of those “Christmas Story” Leg Lamps, and I do too. “I keep my leg lamp out year round. I just change the location,” Shelli says.

And speaking of leg lamps, I’m still getting lots of comments about mine – thanks for that.

Lynn says, “[I] saw your leg lamp; [I] would take it down as quickly as possible.”

Michael has this to say: “Uh, in your case, just leave it up. We’ll all understand!”

Cathy adds, “I love the lamp.”

Caroline is not so nice: “Trash pickup is Monday,” she says.

But Caroline, it’s a “major award!”

Heather understands though. “No way,” she says. “You have the lamp from a Christmas Story! You are officially in my ‘unofficial superhero’ of all things kitsch. Keep it up year round.”

Robert plays the odds: “When I get enough energy,” he says, “which could be June.”

Kim can’t wait, “I’m ready to take mine down today!!!”

Anne sticks to tradition, well sort of: “I celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas,” she says. “THEN I sober up.”

Robin is like, whenever the mood hits her: “When time allows and that’s today!”

Kathryn has an easy plan: “When it’s warm enough and I’m not at work!”

Paul says, “After the religious Christmas season … heck the three wise men haven’t even come yet.”

Harold adds, “I didn’t even put them up this year, we just moved and think they’re MIA. If you see them please call ….”

Connie has a keen observation, “Not sure about Christmas decor since I saw pumpkins still out in my neighborhood!!”

Lyn says, “New Year’s Day. Yay!”

Dave is set on, “[The] first weekend after New Year’s.”

Robert has a great idea, “Leave them up and sometime, about November 1 next year, everyone will think you are the standard for motivated holiday decorating.”

Susan says, “Could be now, could be March. But definitely by Easter, because then I have to put up bunnies and flowers.”

Robyn says, “New Year’s Day is when the tree comes down if we can make ourselves do it; outside lights, they may wait until late January. It depends on how cold it is!!!!”

Rick has his own point of view: “If you live in a neighborhood with cars up on blocks in the front yard, you leave the lights up all year ’round.”

And finally from Harvey, “Well, really don’t have a set time to put them up or take them down you see, I’m Jewish.”

And with that, it’s time to bring my leg lamp in from the front porch to its rightful place in the living room.

By the big window of course.

Cheers and Happy New Year!


A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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