The end of Christmas


Ok, I am not totally sure if this should go here, or in liturgy and sacraments, but, when does Christmas actually end? I have heard three different dates on this and I was wondering if someone could provide an "end all be all" source or something to clear this up, for me, and I'm sure a few others. So, does Christmas end on:

  • The Epiphany
  • The Circumcision of Our Lord (or Mary, Mother of God)
  • or, The Baptism of Our Lord
  • or some other date?


It’s a toss up between “keep the tree up till Easter” and “keep Christmas in your heart always.”


On a more serious note, wouldn’t it end when ordinary time begins again?


Yes, but there’s been some recent debate on other forums and websites as to if the decorations should come down on the Epiphany, Circumcision, or Baptism.


Our pastor said that the Christmas season ends on January 10th, the Baptism of the Lord.

I think it would be okay to keep the decorations up.


As traditionally there are twelve days of Christmas following Christmas Day, Christmas ends on January 6, the Epiphany.


This used to really bother me. But I’ve come to realize that decorating for Christmas is really more of a cultural issue than a liturgical issue. There’s no liturgical imperative to decorate (although there might be special blessings to be used for some decorations.)

The Christmas *season *runs from December 25th until the Baptism of the Lord. The Octave of Christmas runs from December 25th through January 1st. The 12 Days of Christmas go from December 25th through January 5th and are followed by the Epiphany.

In general I think it is traditional to put the tree up on Christmas Eve and keep it up through the Epiphany. ( But that’s only true for cultures that put up Christmas trees.) I’ve heard it suggested that the crib stay up until the Baptism of the Lord. (This is what my parish does.) I’ve heard others say we should wait until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. Again, this is going to be somewhat cultural.

As far as liturgical directives go… I think as long as the decorations are gone by Ash Wednesday you are OK. :smiley:

Home decorating traditions are just that: traditions. In our Western culture it’s traditional to celebrate birthdays by baking a cake, putting candles on top, lighting them, singing “Happy Birthday”, making a wish, and blowing out the candles. But if someone chooses to do things differently it’s not wrong. It’s just different.


Thanks you guys! This has been a real help.:thumbsup:


We go til 40 days after Christmas.


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