When should I take my Christmas tree down? The best date to put decorations away, according to experts

The pros take the guesswork out of the best time to get rid of your Christmas tree – taking both tradition and practicality into account

Norway Spruce Tree
(Image credit: The White Company)

As we enter into a new year, this beginning also signifies the end of the festive season during which you’ve probably decked your home in Christmas decor and a Christmas tree. And if that’s the case, you are probably wondering right about now - when should I take down my Christmas tree?

Whether you invested in the best artificial Christmas tree or a real variety this Christmas season, experts say there is an ideal time and date to take down your tree, which is dictated both by centuries-old traditions and modern time’s demands.

So get your best Christmas tree storage bags and boxes at the ready (or organise a tree collection) because it’s time to learn when to put away the symbol of the Christmas season. Until 1st December, dear Christmas tree!

When should I take my Christmas tree down?

A decorated Christmas tree in a hallway

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

At the beginning of every January, it's important to know how to best store a Christmas tree because this is traditionally the time we take our tree down.

'Many will wish Christmas could last forever, but unfortunately, the tree has to come down at some point. The best date to take down your decorations can be a question of faith, personal choice or how much you like Christmas,' says  Ben Wightman, product expert at Christmas Tree World.

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

'We've been doing it the same way for over two centuries – taking the tree down on Twelfth Night (5th January), which officially marks the end of Christmas, and the eve of the Epiphany,' says Veronika Kusak, director of Pines and Needles.

Ben adds, 'Rushing to take your decorations down before (or after) the traditional festive season is considered bad luck by some, so those hoping for a prosperous 2024 may want to follow tradition.'

A living room with a teddy sofa and a decorated Christmas tree

(Image credit: The White Company)

However, Veronika acknowledges that for many people, the fun is normally over before then – especially since many of us return to work this year 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 explains. 

'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 says 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. 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.

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

(Image credit: Future PLC)

In reality, 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.


 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

With contributions from