You need to leave your Christmas tree up until the infamous date of Jan. 6. It’s not what you think

Just think about the song, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Contrary to what most people think, that 12 days doesn’t actually start until Dec. 25, Christmas Day. The last day is Jan. 6, marking the day when the three kings (aka the three wise men) arrived in Bethlehem and brought the baby Jesus gifts. 

In Spain, it’s the day when kids get their gifts, and in Puerto Rico, kids leave a box with hay under their beds so the kings will leave good gifts for them.

In France, people eat a “Kings’ cake” known as a la galette des rois, and bakers hide a coin, jewel, or little toy inside it. And in Mexico, Jan. 6 is celebrated by drinking hot chocolate and eating “Rosca de Reyes,” a sweet bread shaped like a wreath and topped with candied fruit, with a figurine of the baby Jesus baked inside. 

That said, if your tree is drying out, it could become a fire hazard. So, keep an eye on those needles. If they’re getting brown or feel crunchy and crumble when you touch them, it may be time to drag the beast out to the curb for pickup. 

You can prolong the life of your tree by keeping the water level high and using a water, corn syrup, and white vinegar or lemon juice mixture. Here’s the full recipe

If you’re anything like me, the holidays are a great time to enjoy twinkling lights, the smell of pine, cookies, great booze, decorations, and my vaccinated family and friends.

As a biracial Black and Jewish girl, I love putting up my tree and hate taking it down, so get used to it. That tree will be standing proud in my living room until Jan. 6, Feast of Epiphany aka Three Kings Day, and the day an American president watched with glee and did nothing as his minions attempted to tear down democracy. Happy holidays. 

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