Let’s face it - January is dull. Especially when we’ve all gotten so used to presents, festive decorations, and unbelievably good food. So, we’re looking for any excuses to make that Christmas feeling last a little bit longer. But how long can we (in a socially acceptable way, at least) keep up that festive period for? Should the decorations be long gone by the 27th, or can we keep them up to see us into the New Year?
In this article, we’ll be covering how long people in the UK typically wait before they take down their decorations, and when we all tend to wind down on the festivities and get back to normal life. But this is only for guidance - feel free to keep the tree up till March if it keeps you chirpy.
Then, to provide the perfect conclusion to the Christmas period, we’ve provided you with our delightfully decadent recipe for a peppermint mocha. It’s indulgent, rich, chocolatey and super festive, so that you can finish the celebrations off with a bang.
Tradition dictates that your festive decorations should be taken down and put away on the twelfth night of Christmas.
The eve of the Epiphany is January 5th. Which means that this is, traditionally, the last day of the Christmas celebrations. So, this makes January 6th the day of the Epiphany (also known as the twelfth night), and the day that you should take down your decorations.
January 6th has been named as twelfth night because the celebrations of the Christmas period traditionally last for 12 days, starting on December 25th. Jesus was born on Christmas day and then, twelve days later, the three kings brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby.
In fact, this popular belief has been around ever since the Victorian period. Back then, it was believed that if you kept your decorations up for just one day before or after than this allotted period, then this would bring bad luck. In fact, if the decorations were not removed on this day, to avoid the bad luck, you should keep them up for the rest of the year. That seems a bit overkill, even for us.
The Victorians believed it to be unlucky to take these decorations down on any other day because, since the decorations consisted of winter foliage like holly and ivy, spirits were thought to live in these plants. So, when the foliage was brought into the home, these spirits were able to shelter from the cold outside. They could then be released back into the outdoors after the end of the Christmas period. But, if they were forced outside too quickly, it was feared that there would be problems with crops, vegetation and the general growth of plants across the country.
In order to teach this tradition to children, they were taught that these decorations needed to stay up in order to help guide the wise men to find Jesus, as the festive lights were representative of the Star of Bethlehem, which the Bible says acted as their guide.
This interesting superstition still remains in traces today, as many people still feel disconcerted by the idea of taking decorations down on any day other than the 6th. However, for those who don’t hold any superstitions about their decorations, lots of people tend to associate taking down their decorations with the return to work (after all, it seems a bit paradoxical to have bright decorations up when you’re heading out to your first day back at the office).
But, as a final celebration before you start boxing up the decorations, we’ve got a rich and warming drink recipe that will successfully keep that Christmas spirit alive for a little while longer. It’s got all the luxury and richness that we love from this period, as a perfect final send off before the end of the festivities.
Peppermint mocha recipeIngredients
Water, 60 ml
Peppermint extract, 3 tsp
Powdered cocoa, 3 tbsp
Warm water, 3 tbsp
Hot espresso, 120 ml
Steamed milk, 350 ml
- Add the water and sugar to a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a low simmer, then add half of the peppermint extract.
- Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
- In your mug, mix together the cocoa and warm water to form a paste.
- Using your Smarter coffee machine, brew 120ml of strong, piping-hot coffee.
- Add the espresso and the remaining peppermint extract to the paste. Then pour in the water and sugar mixture and mix well.
- Add the milk, give it a good stir and serve.
In our minds, why should we feel like we have to put a stop to the fun? Some might see it as overkill, but we’re pretty tempted to keep the Xmas tree around for a little bit longer, finish off the Christmas drinks and tuck into some Christmas leftovers of turkey with stuffing one last time.
But it’s not all doom and gloom - we can still have fun, even though January is just around the corner. We think that post-Christmas period is the perfect opportunity to grab some smart gifts, or treat yourself to a few little extras. Making the most out of the after-Christmas sales is the perfect antidote to those post-festive blues.
In fact, our Smarter Boxing Day sale is now on. The 25th may have passed, but that doesn’t mean the Smart Xmas feeling has to stop quite yet. Our range of kitchenware technology makes the perfect gift (or a great way to spend your Christmas money). So be sure to pay a visit to our Smarter website, and you can secure yourself a smart home ready for 2021.
Written by Josephine Walbank