Taking down the tree

Local residents say they prefer after New Year’s Day

By Tim Colliver - [email protected]

The holiday season coming to a close brings with it the task of taking down the holiday decorations and the Christmas tree, but Mechell Frost, director of the Highland County Senior Citizens Center, said that one year she was in no hurry and left everything up until well into the month of January.

“There was another time when I was babysitting for a family member,” she said. “And I dragged all the decorative home accent trees into the living room out to where the Christmas tree was and we had an inside camp out.”

Good Housekeeping magazine recommended letting tradition be the guide when considering when it’s time to put away the Christmas trimmings.

Stay-at-home mom Tiffany Hunley of Hillsboro told The Times-Gazette that she gets into the Christmas spirit on Black Friday and her families’ decorations stay up until the new year dawns.

“My husband has this superstition that if you take them down before the first of the year, it’s bad luck,” she said.

At the Kroger deli, Sylvia Landon of Hillsboro said she also leaves the decorations up until after New Year’s Day since that really signals “the end of the holiday season.”

“It’s a lot of work putting them up,” she said. “And it’s a lot of work taking everything down, especially right after Christmas.”

Dating back to the fourth century, the magazine said, many Christians have traditionally marked the end of the Christmas season on what is called “Twelfth Night,” or the 12 nights after Christmas, an evening also known as the “Eve of the Epiphany.”

In church tradition, the epiphany marked the night that the three kings, or the Magi also known as the wise men, visited the baby Jesus, and is celebrated on Jan. 5 or Jan. 6, depending on whether Christmas Day is counted as day one or not.

Although Christian groups reportedly disagree over which date is the correct one, tradition dictates that the “Twelfth Night” is the best time to take down the festive decorations, including the tree, since it’s also believed that waiting too long will bring bad luck.

Savannah Scott of U.S. Bank is hoping for good luck in the new year since on Saturday she is getting married at the Southside Praise and Worship Center in Hillsboro to Kelton Anderson, who will be home on leave after completing Army boot camp and advanced infantry training.

“They said since they had real Christmas trees they’d take them down right after Christmas, so we can use the church for our wedding,” Scott said.

After Saturday’s nuptials, she said her new husband will report back for duty Jan. 6, with the new couple then playing the waiting game to see where Anderson will be deployed.

Whether the tree and decorations come down early or late depends on personal preference, but Lt. Branden Jackman, the public information officer for the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, said the main thing is to keep live Christmas trees watered.

“Just remember if you’ve got live trees and garland, keep them watered,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing we come across since a dry Christmas tree is kindling for a house fire.”

He said the Jackman household keeps the decorations up until the first of the year and for safety’s sake, they have an artificial tree.

Good Housekeeping advised to take down the tree and decorations when it’s the most convenient, whether it’s the day after Christmas, New Year’s Eve, “Twelfth Night” or whenever, saying there’s really no correct time.

The media lifestyle magazine said it takes a lot of work to put the decorations up to begin with, and people should be able to enjoy them as long as they want.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

Local residents say they prefer after New Year’s Day

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]