The question of how long to leave up one's holiday decorations has proved irksome since the time of Jesus, ever since a couple of Bethlehem inn proprietors first wrestled with when they should wipe down the manger and wash the swaddling clothes following His birth.
Everyone seems to have their own theory. In my house growing up, no sooner had the last shred of wrapping paper fluttered to the ground on Christmas Day than my mother had plucked the still-fresh tree from its stand, flinging it out to die on the curb before most families had even carved the Christmas turkey. By midnight, there was no sign in our house that the holidays had ever happened at all.
By contrast, I once lived in an apartment in Queens that my landlord had lovingly festooned with Santa decals, reindeer yard sculptures and twinkling lights when I moved in—in June. They were still there when December rolled around, but instead of applying some sort of reverse holiday psychology and putting them away, she simply dragged out more, burying the fading, decrepit decorations under a layer of bright new ones.
Which brings us to this, Monday morning, Jan. 7. If you've walked down Prospect Park West lately, you've noticed that many store owners have erred to the side of my former landlord, with once-festive window dressings begin to blur in the nearly mid-January light.
Have you put away your holiday decorations? Do you even plan to put away your holiday decorations, or are you waiting for someone else to bitterly rip them down for you? Tell us in the comments!