While many people are familiar with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas, what many people don’t realize is that traditionally these are not the days leading up to Christmas, but are actually the twelve days following. The song about the Twelve Days of Christmas only just scratches the surface of the fun when it comes to celebrating this winter holiday season.
And National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day is the time to bring an end to the winter holiday season and get the house back into shape for normal living again!
History of National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day
The symbolic use of evergreens as Christmas trees likely started in Germany in the 16th century when Christians brought trees into their homes and decorated them with candles and ribbons. By the early 19th century the idea of Christmas trees made its way to America, possibly via German settlers in Pennsylvania.
The history of the Twelve Days of Christmas goes back much further, to the 6th century, when the church proclaimed a “sacred and festive season” from Christmas Day to Epiphany. As one of the oldest festival days of the Christian church, this day is also known as Three Kings Day and is often considered to be the end of the Christmas holiday season.
This tradition for Epiphany falling twelve days after Christmas was the inspiration for this poem and song that originally hails from the late eighteenth century. This English Christmas carol was put to many different tunes, but the most popular and familiar one was a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk medley by Frederic Austin.
While many people put their Christmas trees up so early that they are sick of it and want to take it down on December 26th, others choose a different kind of tradition. They may want to keep their tree up over the New Year’s holiday and enjoy it just a little bit longer.
National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day was established more recently by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway as the time when people should consider that it’s time for the Christmas tree to go and get the house back to normal again!
How to Celebrate National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day
The celebration and festivities of this day aren’t difficult and don’t require a huge amount of creativity. It’s easy to get started enjoying National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day with some of these ideas for celebrating:
Take Down that Christmas Tree
Of course, the first order of events to celebrate National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day is to start dismantling the tree, all of its decorations and trappings. Remove the tinsel, box up the ornaments, unring those bells and delete that Christmas playlist off of Spotify.
Buy Some Organizational Items
Many people don’t like to take down the Christmas decorations partially because they don’t have the right tools to make it easy. Perhaps National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day is the time to head over to a housewares or organizational store and pick up some containers, boxes and tubs that will help you put away everything to keep it neat and tidy until the next Christmas season.
Host a National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day Party
If just taking down the Christmas tree on your own feels like too much of a burden, perhaps it would be a good idea to host a little gathering with friends who will help. Invite a few close friends of family members, prepare some snacks and drinks, and put on some energizing music.
Get out those boxes and organizing containers and let everyone choose a project. Whether it’s grabbing the ladder and taking down the lights from the roof or exchanging the Christmas mugs for the regular ones, National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day is the time to get everything back to normal.
Listen to The Twelve Days of Christmas Song
Just one last time, for posterity and nostalgia, enjoy National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day by listening to those favorite Christmas tunes one final time before putting them away for the year. Perhaps take some time to memorize the different verses of The Twelve Days of Christmas just for fun!
Recycle or Reuse that Christmas Tree
For those who make use of an artificial Christmas tree, it’s easy to simply pack it up and put it away until next year. But for those folks who prefer to cut down a live Christmas tree and keep it in their homes, it’s important to find some sustainable ways to dispose of it. Consider some of these ideas for tree disposal in honor of National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day:
- Firewood. One of the simplest ways to sustainably remove an evergreen tree after Christmas is to turn it into firewood. Whether it is used for a campfire or in a firepit in the backyard, just let the tree dry out for a few months and it will be ready to burn. This type of tree may not work as well when used in an indoor fireplace due to the sap and creosote buildup.
- Mulch. Evergreen trees can be used to make sustainable mulch that can be used in the yard or garden to provide moisture and health to trees. Plus, pine needles contain nutrients that benefit the pH balance of the soil and increase its health when used as part of a compost heap.
- Feed the Fish. Those who have a pond on their property, or know someone who does, might want to simply drop the tree into the water as a thriving reserve for the fish. When algae forms on the underwater tree, it can act as food for the fish as well as providing protection from predators.
- Make Coasters. Thinking of making fresh smelling decorations or coasters for the home? Then all it takes is a saw and a little bit of varnish. Simply let the trunk dry out completely and then cut the tree trunk into discs that are approximately one inch thick. Varnish them and use them as coasters, trivets and more.