When Is The Right Time To Take Down Your Christmas Lights?

Exterior of quaint cottage decorated for Christmas
PHOTO: JAMES RANSOM

Christmas lights are one of the first signs that a new holiday season is on the horizon. While this age-old tradition brings joy each December, it can also become a nuisance if left up too long into a new year. Although there isn’t one specific date to take down Christmas lights, many people have opinions about when to take down Christmas lights. While it varies from family to family, these are the most common days that Southerners pack up holiday lights for next year’s celebration.

White House with Blue Accents at Christmas
MARTA XOCHILT PEREZ; STYLING: JENNY O€™CONNOR

New Year’s Day

If you’re someone who prefers to pack up Christmas lights by the new year, you’re not alone. According to Opendoor’s Home Decor Report, 51% of respondents take down their Christmas decorations right around New Year’s Day. The start of the new year means new beginnings, and Christmas lights bring parts of the previous year into the new one. If you’re looking for a fresh start this January, taking your Christmas lights down near or on New Year’s Day is a great way to start your year off on the right foot.

Three Kings Day

It’s not just a catchy holiday tune—the twelve days of Christmas have historical meaning in the Christian faith. Twelve days represent the amount of time it took for the wise men, or three kings, to travel to Bethlehem for the Epiphany after the birth of Jesus. The twelfth day is now known as Three Kings Day, and it falls on January 6 every year.

While not everyone in the United States observes Three Kings Day, it is a celebratory holiday that signifies the end of Christmas festivities in countries all over the world. For this reason, many believe that January 6 is the final day to keep Christmas lights up until the holiday season is truly over.

Before February 1st

Though a large amount of people take Christmas lights down by the first week of January, you won’t be too out-of-the-ordinary if you leave them up for the rest of the month. According to the Neighbor’s 2020 “Undeck the Halls” report, 33% of participants claimed that decorations should come down by February 1 or sooner.

After 90 Days

Even without a specific date on the calendar, a certain period is recommended for Christmas lights to stay up. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s National Electric Code, Christmas lights should only be kept up for a maximum of 90 days to avoid electrical issues that could cause serious damage to your home. This timespan protects your home against potential house fires and saves money on your monthly electric bill since running Christmas lights all month can get expensive.