The Church’s liturgical season of Christmas ends in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite with the movable feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls in early to mid-January. After revisions to the missal in 1962, the calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite marks the end of Christmas on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, fixed to Jan. 13. Previously, it had been long standing tradition to mark the end of Christmastime on Feb. 2 — the feast of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, which is literally 40 days after Christmas, as indicated in Scripture.
Our homes are to be domestic churches, where God is at the center of our family life, as our call is to worship Him always and everywhere. And so it is important for us to live liturgically in the home.
So, then, it’s recommended that if we put up Christmas decorations, we should consider keep them up until the end of the Church’s liturgical season of Christmas. But practically speaking, this isn’t always possible. While we might need to discard our tree earlier, we can always keep up a Nativity scene longer, until the feast of the Lord’s baptism or even until Feb. 2. However you choose to keep Christmas alive in your home is ultimately up to you.
Michael R. Heinlein is editor of Simply Catholic. Follow him on Twitter @HeinleinMichael.