I have an excuse... it's tradition!

A few years ago, I decided to research the Christmas traditions of the countries that both Hubby and my ancestors are from. Hubby's ancestry on his father's side is Norwegian and Swedish. So in hunting down some Swedish Christmas traditions I found one that I absolutely love! Why? Because it gives me an excuse to not take down the Christmas decorations on New Year's Day! Can I have a big "Hip hip hooray!" and a "Hallelujah!"?

Here's the quote I found (sorry, I forgot to write down the reference back then):

"[In Sweden,] the Christmas spirit and enjoyment linger until January 14--Knut's Day--the day appointed to discard the Christmas tree and devour all the edible decorations. This is quite an occasion, especially for the young who occasionally dress as 'Old Knut' and play practical jokes and chant as they fling the old tree into the snow, with a promise to reunite with their beloved pine in one year."
Hubby has always had a hard time parting with the Christmas decorations on New Year's Day so now our new "old" tradition is to wait until January 14th for Knut's Day. We don't have snow or a real Christmas tree to fling into the snow, but we do have other decorations that I wait until January 14th to put away. Then as I'm putting away the Christmas decorations, I put up the Valentine's Day decorations so it eases the shock of having empty bareness where the Christmas stuff used to be. And then we have Valentine's Day decorations for a whole month (which I absolutely love because I LOVE red!).

Because of this great adoption of a new "old" tradition, I don't feel guilty one bit just enjoying New Year's Day with Hubby instead of cleaning up the house. Our grandmothers did know best!

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17 comments:

  1. That sounds like a wonderful idea, especially the part about enjoying New Years day instead of cleaning! I put ours away because it was just too much temptation for a crawling baby.

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  2. I didn't know that in the USA you have this tradition of clearing all the Christmas decorations away on New Years Day. In the Netherlands we don't have a fixed day for clearing it all away; catholics remove the decorations after the 7th of January ( 3 Kings Day) but most do it whenever they feel like it. I have seen Christmas trees out on their ear on the evening of the Second Christmas Day (yes, we have two Christmas Days). I like to keep my Christmas decorations up a bit longer so I like this old Swedish tradition a lot. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. That's a neat tradition. We have to have ours down by Jan 6th because that's the 12th day after Christmas and, evidently, in Britain it's considered bad luck to keep them up any longer. At least according to my now-American-but-formerly-British husband. In all actuality, all he cared about was that I left them up until he went back to work today (the 2nd) because then Christmas was finally over!

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  4. Happy New year and I think we are Swedish too =) Im a lazy one though. My box fell aprat and tree is still up and hubby is gone out of town. Heck I may just hang snowflakes on it hehe.

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  5. My husband is part Swedish, but I didn't know the story of Old Knut. Usually we keep the tree up until Jan 6th, but this year we are going out of town so we took everything down yesterday.

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  6. That's a wonderful new tradition! We took all our stuff done yesterday and it looks so bare especially outside!

    Manuela

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  7. My husband likes for me to leave the Christmas decorations up until after his birthday, January 7th. Last year I think I left them up a little longer. I love the house all decorated and want to enjoy it as long as possible. But, your idea about decorating for Valentine's Day right after Christmas is a great idea!

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  8. Enjoy those decorations and never feel guilty - it's the good part of life!


    Kathy

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  9. That sounds wonderful....I don't know if my tree would've lasted 2 more weeks...it was getting kinda crispy!!
    Blessings,
    Robin

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  10. That is a great tradition! Especially for those who have lots of edible decorations and to save them until the 14th gives time to recover from the Christmas feast before you feast on all the chocolate and candy/sweets:) Unless you have chocolate-thieving dogs! We would like to live in America where we can celebrate all of the events and special days, and I particularly like the meaning of Thanksgiving...afterall, we have a lot to be thankful for!
    Best Wishes to you and the family, love from Meg and cats xxx

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  11. Wonderful tradition! Also puts you in touch with your history.

    My family comes from Denmark and when visiting there last year, I learned that they have candles burning when we were sitting around talking or eating.

    I brought that tradition home with me. It makes for such a cozy feeling with family & friends.

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  12. Hi Cindy - wow, I haven't been here in awhile. I just had the most fun catching up with you!!

    I take down the decorations whenever the mood hits - this year I was ready to have a clean slate kind of early - do you suppose that means I'll get lots of projects done in 2008????

    I loved hearing about and seeing your heirloom ornaments - and your fireplace area is lovely! Hooray for you to have beautiful flowers blooming this time of year - thanks for posting them - it will be a few months before I see bloomers in my garden again!!

    Hiking boots - what a fabulous gift! I can't wait to see the posts about your hiking adventures!

    Best wishes to you and your hubby for the new year.

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  13. Well I don't mean to one-up you but I guess we rednecks got you beat - we leave ours up until July and some folks do it year-round.

    I guess "family tradition " can explain a lot. When they asked a famous country singer why he smoked and drank he said it was " a family tradition ! "

    Happy New Year.

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  14. Sounds like an excellent tradition to me...except our fresh tree wouldn't have lasted til 14 Jan. I undecorated it last night, but it's still standing in the living room because 1. there's still 18 inches of snow on the back deck and my longsuffering spouse is shoveled out! and 2. the back door leading to the deck is frozen because we're in a heavy deep freeze right now.

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  15. I like the Swedish tradition too. I've never quite understood the rush to put all the Christmas decorations away so quickly.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year and lots of good new gardening memories!

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  16. Sounds like a good idea to me! Why do all that work on a tree and then take it down so soon?

    I think one of the biggest challenges of life is to learn to just enjoy, and not to rush on to the next thing all the time. I wish I could teach my husband to do that!

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  17. I think that's a great tradition.. I'm almost done with my decorations!

    Happy New Year!

    Michelle

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