When to take down the tree? Unscientific poll finds most already at the curb

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It's so much fun to pick it out and dress it up, and such a drag to take it down and haul it to the curb. (Or the attic, for those with artificial varieties. )

The Pioneer Press has a story that looks at what it calls the "great post-Christmas debate" on how long to keep the Christmas tree in the house. It reviews the annual divide between the Git -'Er-Done types and the What's-the-Rush? bunch.

The newspaper offers readers an admittedly unscientific poll, asking when they take down their Christmas tree. By mid-morning Saturday, almost half of the poll respondents revealed their tree was already down and their decorations packed away; 9.3 percent said they took the tree down the day after Christmas and 35.2 percent said it came down on New Year's Day.

Then their are the procrastinators -- or people who prefer to extend the season; 32.3 percent of those answering the poll said they will accomplish the chore by Epiphany (Jan. 6) and 19.4 percent say they "haven't decided yet" when to do the deed.

A defiant 3.5 percent say "Never!" when asked when their tree will be taken down.

The All Things Christmas website notes there's superstition and traditions associated with when to take down the tree. Some key days in holiday lore include:

Dec. 31: Take the tree down on New Year's Eve before the bells toll at midnight. Otherwise, legend says you'll drag your baggage and bad luck into the new year.

Jan. 5: Taking your tree down on this day, traditionally considered the twelfth day of Christmas, brings good luck.

Jan. 6: Take it down this day in observance of the Epiphany, a Christian holiday. Legend says leaving the tree up beyond this day brings bad luck.

The Catholic Living website noted that traditionally, Catholics did not take their trees down until Jan. 7, the day after Epiphany.

Families and cultures have their own traditions, of course. One of the commenters posting in response to the Pioneer Press story writes, "Up here on the Iron Range it's still sort of traditional to leave trees up until after Serbian (Orthodox) Christmas on January 7th."

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