My wife and I have been arguing about the Christmas tree. What day should it be taken down? I want it down on New Year's Eve, and she wants to leave it up until Jan. 5. I don't hate Christmas, but I would just as soon get it over with. Will you please settle this argument for us?
Dear Mulch It,
Neither one of you is necessarily wrong. In fact, we live in a world where there are people who love Christmas so much, they leave decorations up year round (I consider that a "hard pass"). The truth here is that you were both probably raised with traditions about when the tree goes up and when it comes down. You and your family might not even know why these dates are always observed, but it is quite simple: Many who take the tree down by New Year's Eve do so out of tradition based on superstition. Some people believe it's bad luck to leave the tree up past New Year's Eve because it symbolizes taking old problems and baggage into the new year. It is sort of a "fresh start" thing. Your wife wants to leave it up until Jan. 5, which is the Twelfth Day of Christmas and the last day before Epiphany, in the Christian tradition. I say it doesn't really matter. Get the tree down before it becomes a fire hazard and before the City of Boise stops collecting them curbside.