When should I take down my Christmas tree? The experts reveal the ideal dates

It’s the eternal Yuletide question – when exactly should our festive décor be returned to storage?

Christmas tree against cream doors surrounded by candles
(Image credit: Future PLC/BRENT DARBY)

Right now, you’re probably contentedly surveying your living room Christmas décor that you worked so hard on ahead of the festive season – tree and all its decorations included.

But as we head towards the New Year, our Christmas tree ideas, lighting, garlands, and ornaments all start to feel a little bit sad and out of place. 

So when should you actually take down your Christmas tree? Is it before the New Year? Is it immediately after? Should we keep it up well into January? The experts – and some age-old traditions – have revealed the actual answer. 

When should I take my Christmas tree down?

Christmas tree next to stairs with stockings and presents underneath the tree

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you prefer sticking to the classic rules, festive tradition actually dictates that we should wait until the 5th January to take down our tree - which is the ‘Twelfth Night’ of the Yuletide period.

Veronika Kusak, Director at tree décor and delivery service Pines and Needles said: 'We've been doing it the same way for over two centuries – taking the tree down on Twelfth Night (January 5), which officially marks the end of Christmas, and the eve of the Epiphany.'

However, she acknowledges that for many people, the fun is normally over before then – especially since many of us will return to work this year three days earlier, on the 2nd January.

'Nowadays, the majority of trees tend to be taken down between the 2nd and the 4th January as people want to start fresh, ready for the year to come,' Veronika explained. 

'Regardless of whether you want to adhere to the rituals or not, your tree will have done its job by then – and taking it down in the first week of the new year will help you declutter the living room and get the house ready for January.'

Christmas tree with gold presents underneath next to green sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Will Kidger, founder of Send Me a Christmas Tree, also explained that in his experience, most people have taken theirs down by this time. “We run Christmas tree collections in the new year, and have been doing so for a number of years,” he said. 

'Based on our customers' preferences on when they want the trees collected, over 60% of them already have their tree down by 5th January.'

Opinions are generally divided on this though; some people even prefer to take their Christmas tree down before the New Year for example, to mark the change in celebration.

And in recent times, attitudes have trended towards decorating bigger, and keeping our decorations up for longer. During the pandemic, when joy and celebration felt like they were in short supply, many of us kept our decorations up well into January, to prolong the feeling of festivity.

In reality, though, there really is no right answer when it comes to the ‘proper’ time to take your Christmas tree down. While religious tradition dictates that it comes down on the 5th, the choice is individual for each household. 

Essentially, you should take your tree down whenever it feels right for you – whether that’s the first thing on 27th December, or not until the middle of January.

Christmas tree with red and purple presents underneath next to red sofa on red rug

(Image credit: Future PLC)

After all, while many of us like to keep the celebrations going for as long as possible, plenty of people are keen to get rid of the festive clutter ASAP, and get cleaning as we head into a fresh New Year.


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine