This article was originally published in January of 2016 and has been updated to reflect dates from 2020-2021.
So, when does Christmas actually end? I used to think it ended on Epiphany. Didn't you?
Here are the facts:
From the General Norms for the Liturgical Year:
33. The Christmas season runs from evening prayer I of Christmas until the Sunday after Epiphany or after 6 January, inclusive.
Did you get that? From Christmas Eve to the Sunday after Epiphany. This year, that's January 10th. The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Not January 6th. The Sunday after.
Wow! 4 more days of Christmas!
I know I was. Like most folks, I always thought Christmas ended on the Epiphany. Until I began to study my faith and then - oops! I found out that officially, it's still Christmas until the Sunday after the Epiphany.
So now we know that Christmas doesn't end until the Baptism of Our Lord, which is Sunday the 10th.
My family has traditionally taken down our Christmas tree on the Epiphany.
What do we do now?
...We'll still probably take down the tree and the lights. But we'll continue to greet everyone with Merry Christmas until the 10th.
So, hey, Merry Christmas!