house with pretty Christmas lights decorated at night

When To Take Down Holiday Lights – Plus Some Curb Appeal Tips

Kevin Graham6-minute read

December 16, 2021

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Putting up your twinkle lights, setting up the holiday tree and gearing up your home for a cozy winter season are all things that make the holidays so nostalgic every year. It’s an especially sweet new memory to create if you’ve recently purchased a new home. However, the season can go by in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, you’re already taking down Christmas lights and decorations.

If you want to linger in the festivities a little bit longer, you may be wondering when to take down Christmas lights without committing a neighborly faux pas. Learn when most Americans take down their holiday lights and other curb appeal tips for neighbor etiquette while keeping your home festive and welcoming this holiday season. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • The most popular days to take down Christmas lights are Epiphany and National Un-Deck The Halls Day. 
  • 66% of Americans take down holiday décor in January. 
  • Natural daylight can be replicated by artificial lighting, like holiday lights, to combat seasonal depression. 

Table of Contents

When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Lights?

How Do Lights Help Your Mental Health? 

6 Holiday Curb Appeal Don’ts You Should Avoid

When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Lights?

The most common days to take down Christmas lights are January 2 and January 6. The Epiphany on January 6 marks the final day of the 12 days of Christmas. The Epiphany is celebrated in the Christian calendar as the day the three wise men came to visit Christ’s birthplace. Alternatively, National Un-Deck The Halls Day on January 2 is a popular day to take down Christmas lights.

Although there’s no formal day to take down your exterior holiday decorations, you want to consider what the people around you are doing to practice good neighbor etiquette. If most take them down right after New Year’s, that may be the best time for you to take yours down as well.

To understand how long Americans enjoy their homes with holiday decorations, Rocket Mortgage® studied Rocket Homes℠ surveys from 20201 and 20212 and found:

  • In 2021, 53% of the respondents reported decorating for the holidays right after Thanksgiving.
  • 21% of respondents said they begin decorating at the beginning of December.
  • Over half (63%) of Americans put up holiday lights on their home or in the front yard. 
  • 66% of respondents reported taking down their holiday décor in January

The timing for taking down exterior holiday lights can depend on where you live because of safety issues. For example, if your home is in an area that experiences intense winter weather such as snow and ice accumulation, you may not even be able to access some of your exterior holiday lights, and it may not be safe to take them down until April or May.3

You can still choose when to take down your Christmas lights. If you feel the effects of seasonal depression during the darker months, leaving up your Christmas lights can not only brighten your home, but boost your mood during hard times. Whether you like to keep simple Christmas lights up year-round for some extra serotonin or like to pack them up right after the holidays are over, it’s completely up to you.

How Do Lights Help Your Mental Health?

As the days get darker following the end of daylight savings, it’s easy to let the gloom get to you. However, studies show that artificial lights in the wintertime are a great tool to use to combat symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Light therapy is a common treatment of SAD, which consists of using artificial light to replicate natural daylight.9 Although holiday lights may not be as bright as sunlight, they still can produce similar effects.

A recent study reported that 83% of people believe natural lighting is important for their health, but only 39% of respondents were aware that natural daylight could be replicated by lighting tools like SAD light fixtures or even holiday lights.10

benefits of LED lights

If you find joy and a sense of peace when hanging up your holiday lights, keep them up longer than the general holiday months, while also being mindful of your neighbors who live around you and how they feel about leaving them up.

If you tend to be easily affected by the seasonal changes, you may think about purchasing a home in an area with sunshine all year round. However, wherever you live, there are ways to combat the dreary months with a few tools.

Learn more about how you can use lights to help boost your mental wellness, as well as best practices to beat the winter blues this holiday season below. 

habits to beat the winter blues

6 Holiday Curb Appeal Don’ts You Should Avoid

Whether you're hosting family holiday festivities in your home or traveling this season, keeping up your curb appeal is still ideal during the winter months if you’re planning on selling your home. 

While holiday decorations can bring merry delight to your neighborhood, it can also be easy to go overboard and neglect the rest of your exterior maintenance. Here are some don’ts to avoid that will hurt your curb appeal this holiday season and beyond. 

1. Don’t Overdo The Holiday Decor

Whether it’s during the holidays or throughout the year, be mindful of your neighbors when putting out exterior decorations. Decorations with strobe light effects or loud features aren’t the most neighborhood-friendly. Keep your decorations simple and tasteful, especially if your home is on the market. Avoid adding too many decorative pieces, like sculptures and garden gnomes, to keep the central focus on your home.

Expert tip: “Decorative lawn ornaments bring a personal touch to your yard. But there is always a high possibility that many buyers might fixate their attention on the enormous strange sculpture outdoors rather than the beauty of the home. Investors might make a negative point out of this, or even depreciate the total value of the home.”  

  • Ben Fisher, Luxury Real Estate Specialist, The Fisher4

2. Don’t Be A Scrooge

Having a bare yard and minimal landscaping doesn’t add much value to your property. You can still keep it simple by adding a few shrub bushes around your yard or planting flowers in fertilized flower beds.

Adding a potted plant or two near the front door can also add fresh greenery. If you like to keep it low-maintenance, choose plants that don’t need constant watering, like succulents or a fig tree.

Expert tip: “If you can’t keep anything alive outdoors, it’s better not to keep plastic flowers and wait for them to turn sun fade blue … if you want to keep your home’s natural energies in balance, it’s better to plant real plants than artificial ones.”

  • Ben Fisher, Luxury Real Estate Specialist, The Fisher4

3. Don’t Flip The Grinch Switch  

On the flip side, avoid planting an excessive amount of shrubbery and plants that will hide your house or make your home unwelcoming. Not only is this an eyesore for your neighbors, but it takes a lot of upkeep. Avoid over planting if you like to keep your home’s landscaping needs to a minimum.

Expert tip: “Trees should be pruned and not block aspects of the exterior’s architecture. Bushes should be trimmed and flower beds should be weed-free. Beautiful landscaping leaves a good impression of your home.”

  • Cody Stout, Head Operations Manager at Tree Triage5

4. Don’t Wait For After Winter To Paint 

One of the easiest curb appeal projects is fixing up chipped or fading exterior paint on your home, including your front door and outside window trims. Without regular maintenance, peeling paint can make your home look outdated. Mark your calendar to repaint before wintertime so you don’t need to wait until the snow has melted.

Expert tip: “Sun and other elements can reduce the quality of your exterior paint over time, so it’s important to repaint the exterior walls every 5 years. For wood surfaces, repaint at least every 3 years.”

  • Phillip Ash, Founder of Pro Paint Corner

holiday CURB APPEAL

5. Don’t Have The Holiday Blues With Your Hues  

You want your home to stand out, but for good reasons. Avoid choosing exterior paint colors that don’t blend well with the rest of the houses in your neighborhood. This is especially true if your neighborhood has a homeowners association that has a pre-existing color list to choose from.

Expert tip: “Don’t use improper paints. It’s always safe to stick to neutral colors like gray, white, black or beige [to maximize resale value]. Extreme colors like pink, purple or yellow should be avoided.”

  • Jason Simard, REALTOR® and Owner at Sims Real Estate6 

6. Don’t Forget To Make Your Lawn Sparkle 

Yard clutter is a big curb appeal no-no. Organize and put away items like gardening tools, while throwing away trash items into their designated bins. If your lawn needs regular landscaping, it may be worth investing in an outdoor shed to keep your exterior maintenance tools hidden away from view.

Expert tip: “Visible gardening tools, shoes on the front porch, and trash sitting out front can derail a home's appearance. Make sure all items are put away to give the curb a neat, put-together look.” 

  • Maria Juvakka, Founder of Chic Pursuit8

Curb appeal tip 2

Sources: 

Rocket Homes

Rocket Homes 

3 Direct communication with Karen Condor, real estate expert at US Insurance Agents

4 Direct communication with Ben Fisher, luxury real estate specialist at The Fisher Group

5 Direct communication with Cody Stout, Head Operations Manager at Tree Triage

6 Direct communication with Jason Simard, REALTOR® & Owner at Sims Real Estate Group

7 Direct communication with Phillip Ash, Founder of Pro Paint Corner

8 Direct communication with Maria Juvakka, Founder of Chic Pursuit

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Kevin Graham

Kevin Graham is a Senior Blog Writer for Rocket Companies. He specializes in economics, mortgage qualification and personal finance topics. As someone with cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia that requires the use of a wheelchair, he also takes on articles around modifying your home for physical challenges and smart home tech. Kevin has a BA in Journalism from Oakland University. Prior to joining Rocket Mortgage, he freelanced for various newspapers in the Metro Detroit area.