Why our outdoor decorations go up on or near the solstice

We’re always the last people in our neighborhood to put up Christmas and the last to take them down.

We always had a Yule log then I was growing up. Sad to say, the practice has become rather rare now. – Wikipedia photo.

This began when I was in grade school and became a habit. The schools were always looking for families who would lend them Christmas lights. Once we started doing that, the teachers came to us first every year. We didn’t get the lights back until the last school day before Christmas, usually, somewhere around December 20th.

Needless to say, we waited until the lights came back to decorate the house.

After that, perhaps it was laziness to some extent. As for putting up the decorations, we rebel every year against the practice of decorating the house for Christmas on or before Thanksgiving. As for taking them down, we strongly dislike the people who throw out their Christmas trees as soon as they finish opening their gifts.

For years, we went up to my wife’s folks’ house on Christmas day. It was always disheartening to return to our neighborhood and find dozens of trees already out next to the curb for the trash truck. We leave our decorations up until Twelfth Night. That’s a rather old tradition with the twelve days of Christmas beginning on December 25 in spite of the fact that a lot of merchants try to drum up sales by claiming the twelfth day of Christmas is the 25th. (More commercialism by people who don’t do any fact-checking.)

It’s supposedly bad luck to leave any greenery, and I include modern-day decorations, up after January 5th. So we don’t.

Over the years, others in our neighborhoods have asked why our decorations go up so late and stay up so long. We’re always tempted to ask, “Why do your decoration go up so early and don’t even stay up until New Year’s Eve.” But we don’t.

Whatever you do with your decorations, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.





No, our Christmas decorations aren’t up yet

We like to give each holiday it’s due.

happythanksgiving2015That means Santa knows that if he messes around decorating our house prior to December 1, he’ll be shot.

(Among other things, we don’t celebrate Black Friday, though Small Business Saturday is kind of nice.)

Today still feels like a continuation of Thanksgiving because we’re eating leftovers. My brother and his wife from Florida were here for a week and they just left this morning because they know from experience that driving back to the sunshine state on the Sunday after Thanksgiving is often a nightmare.

We’re thankful they were here.

Tomorrow, we’ll start thinking about our Christmas decorations. As it turns out, a lot of people have already have lighted trees in their windows and various other lighted decorations in their yards.

We start a bit later and keep our Yuletide lights and greenery up until the last day of Christmas on Twelfth Night.

However you celebrate, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and won’t be one of those buffoons who throws out his Christmas tree before nightfall on the 25th. (Gee, what’s the rush?)


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of ‘Emily’s Stories,” the Pushcart Prize nominated “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” “Sarabande,” and “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire.”