Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday, in one of my daughter’s homeschool groups, we were focusing on Holiday Traditions. Everyone was sharing what traditions they have and how they differ by culture, as well as around the world. We even went back in time to discover what people did long ago. But one of the interesting things I’d like to discuss here is:

When is Christmas over?

Of course I would love it if Bryan Adams’ song came true. "There's something about Christmas time... That makes you wish it was Christmas everyday." If only the spirit of Christmas really did live in people's hearts all year. 

However, for this post I’ll stick to the more concrete question. For instance, when do you take down your decorations and deem that it’s time to move away from the festive season?

In my family, we’ve always thought of the end as being The Epiphany, which is on January 6th. However, school holidays and work vacations usually end before this. But we pack in as much family time and fun as we can.

One woman in our homeschool group mentioned that in England, they celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, with the first day being Christmas Day and hence the last day being January 6th.

And yet, it seems that where I live, merchants would have us believe that Christmas Day is the last day, because after this they advertise their Boxing Day sales and Post Christmas deals. I don’t think you can hear a Christmas song on the radio past Boxing Day and the focus changes to New Year’s Eve celebrations. Although the Christmas decorations remain.

So please share. When do you stop celebrating Christmas?

And if you want to add even more to the discussion, let’s look at the flip side for fun:

When do you start celebrating Christmas?

In Canada, many believe the Christmas season begins after Remembrance Day on November 11th (since that’s our last holiday before Christmas). And where I live, our Santa Claus Parade falls just around that time to start the season off. And it did a wonderful job this year!

But whatever you do, I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

Eva Maria Hamilton is the author of Highland Hearts, a Love Inspired Historical novel published by Harlequin. Her novel, Highland Hearts, won 2nd Place in the Historical Romance, as well as the Inspirational/Traditional Romance Categories in the 2013 Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Awards, and was an Inspirational Series Finalist in the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

Highland Hearts

Scotland 1748

The Battle of Culloden is over, but one Highlander’s fight has just begun… Logan McAllister survived years of indentured servitude in the Americas to reach this moment. Now he’s returned to Scotland, ready to redeem the secret promise from Sheena Montgomery’s father – that his years as an indentured servant would earn him Sheena’s hand in marriage. But when he arrives home, he learns that Sheena’s father has died, his contract has been lost… and Sheena is engaged to another man.

To connect with Eva Maria Hamilton online, please visit her at


  1. Hi Eva Maria

    The last 2 years I've spent more time reflecting on the wonder of Jesus' birth during December. But I probably should be doing that everyday. I'm continually amazed at how He just didn't do what people expected and it's a good thing for us to remember in our daily travels.

    Once Christmas Day is over I find myself thinking about the year ahead.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. I hope it doesn't get too cold.

    1. Hi Ian!
      I couldn't agree more about your observation regarding Jesus. And I hope your reflection is making a difference in your life and leading you to more peace.
      Thanks for the Christmas wishes!
      However, I think we're past cold here :) Overnight, with the windchill, it's supposed to feel like -20C! :)

  2. I''m in the minority, but I don't start celebrating Christmas until after December 1. I put up the tree the Saturday before Dec. 25 and I play Christmas carols for several days after Christmas Day. The tree comes down after Epiphany, usually Jan 7, which is my birthday. Kind of a sad way to celebrate! Then I clean house and look toward the new year.

    1. Hi Alice!
      Do you have a real tree? I think lots of people who buy real trees wait until later to put them up. And if anyone really wants a bargain, by Christmas Eve the trees are really cheap! :)
      I don't know if I've ever been truly sad to take down my tree, but then again maybe it's because I have it up so long! lol Or somehow it always seems like a way to cleanse for the new year. To make room for all the great things to come. And for you that includes your birthday! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Birthday! Enjoy!

  3. Thanks, Eva. Yes it's a real tree and the needles fall off if it's in the house too long. Sure smells good though.

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    1. Alice, I uderstand :) Wouldn't want any fire hazards either if it gets too dry :)

  5. Same here real tree so can only go up a week at most before Christmas. Being summer in Australia it is too hot otherwise for the tree to survive. Then all down by the beginning of January. I love Christmas, carols and such which we always have on while decorating the tree, but can only deal so long with tinsel and glitz.

  6. Hi Eva, we put our tree up on December 1 and pack it away on New Years Day. I have a retail job so Christmas starts for me in October. I was surprised this year to see Christmas stock on sale at Costco in September.