Friday, February 24, 2012

Living in New England: Christmas in January, February... March & April!


There are many aspects of life here that are so unique from other parts of the country, and I want to share those things with my family, and perhaps with you- if you have never been here. I thought it might be helpful to do some posts called : "Living in New England" that highlight quintessential New England sights, events, situations, and experiences.
I also know of many people who have lived here, in New England, their entire lives and perhaps don't realize that some of the events and sights that I will describe don't happen elsewhere in the country. Or, maybe you are originally from New England, but have moved away... I hope these posts will bring back some fond memories for you.   In any event, I wish to share New England with you through the eyes of this Southerner.

(To read my other "Living in New England" posts visit here!)

Four years ago when we moved to New Hampshire at the end of January we noticed a large number of Christmas wreaths still hanging on houses in New Hampshire and all around New England.  That year was record setting as the 2nd snowiest winter ever recorded in New Hampshire.  We attributed the many, many Christmas wreaths that hung throughout the entire winter to the massive amount of snow on the ground that year- people just couldn't get to the wreaths to remove them.
They were everywhere... everywhere
It became a running joke while driving around New England in the months of February, March and April to announce each and every Christmas wreath that was spotted..  
"Christmas Wreath!"...
"Christmas Wreath!"...
"Christmas Wreath!"...
...on and on.
Then, sometime in April of that year it was as if everyone got the secret memo and all (well, most;) of the wreaths were removed at the exact same time!   There was still lots of snow on the ground that year in April, so it wasn't that the snow had made the difference.  It was just the strangest thing!

This unusual "tradition" has occurred every year since- even when the snow isn't bad, or like this year when there isn't hardly any snow at all (as you can see in most of the photos).  I especially love the photograph of the wreath and the sap buckets- a sure sign of Spring in New England!
 Certainly in other parts of the country you see the "occasional" wreath and Christmas lights still up in June, but that's not what I'm referring to.  I kid you not when I tell you you see them
EVERYWHERE!!!!!
The following photos are but a small sampling;  they were all taken in the last couple of days. 

Merry Christmas.... still! :)













































105 comments:

  1. As a life long New Englander your post made me chuckle! I just had this conversation with my good friend. My husband and I decided to take our greens down the last weekend in January - because it was "warm" and there was no snow. Ordinarily we can't get to the front door because the snow's too high! However, I held out on one wreath, along our walkway - LOL!!! It's as green as the day we hung it after Thanksgiving. It's shaded and faces north! As for this New Englander, It's the brown wreaths and greens that drive me insane! LOL!!!

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  2. Too funny. Here in Ontario, Canada, we have the opposite problem - trees and decorations seem to come down before New Years! It's as if we are saying (in true Canadian fashion) - okay, that's done. Let's move on.

    Personally I keep my winter urns until the March school break (2nd week) - then I put pussy willows in. But that being said, I do take any red or gold out as soon as Epiphany (Jan. 6) has passed.

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  3. Hi- I live in NW WI. Every year, just before deer hunting and Thanksgiving, my husband and I cut fresh spruce greens, and I make 20-some wreaths to hang over the windows with red velvet ribbons, and by the doors. Typically, I drop the wreaths on the 1st of March, unless snow is forecasted. Because our greens are fresh, they are still as green as the day they were hung (usually the 1st of December). They add a bit of color to our stark landscape, and I just enjoy looking through them. My kith and kin hale from New England, though, perhaps that explains it-

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  4. My husband and I always have this fantasy of one day moving to New England...this post is making me want to even more!!!

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  5. Our wreaths don't last very long here in South Central Texas!! Everytime I opened or closed the door I had needlles everywhere. It didn't last too long after Christmas. I LOVED the sleigh on the porch filled with greens! Thanks for the pictures of such beautiful NE homes-wreaths or no wreaths.

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  6. Wow, very interesting. Here in Maryland most people take everything down by early February at the latest. We will often remark if we see a wreath or holiday decor past mid January. I do have one faraway neighbor who is still all lit up and we even wondered if they were waiting for someone to come home from the military and that's why they still had everything up! Do you have any idea why people in New England do this? Maybe it's Yankee sensibility, waste not, want not?

    Kat :)

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  7. I usually leave our wreath on our door until the end of January! I think that I'm the only one in Idaho that does that! I think that snow and wreaths go together! I did hear Hoda & Kathy Lee talking about how some families leave their Christmas decorations up for their service members! Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures! I would like to go to New England some day! Kim

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  8. Boy, would I be busy in New England. You see, my hubby refers to me as "The Christmas Police"., LOL. When I spot Christmas decorations after the end of Jan. I feel like telling the people to TAKE IT DOWN:):) I am the same way with Halloween or any other holiday decorations. My PET PEEVE is seeing pumpkins still on the porch ALONG WITH the Christmas decorations!!!!!!! I YI YI!!!! XO, Pinky

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  9. This is such a wonderful post because I live the sheltered life of having only lived in the south! I rarely get to see how the other half of the country lives (up close and personal). I would feel the same way as you if I saw that many Christmas decorations STILL out this late. I have all of mine removed before the new year! I live in an area where there are alot of transplants from up north. NOW I know why they still have their Christmas decor up so late. My neighbors across the street are from Wisconsin and they left their Christmas wreath up till almost Valentines Day! I thought they'd never take it down. I'm a bit OCD about when decorations should go up and be taken down. I loved seeing into your world this time of year. Keep these great posts coming!

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  10. That would drive me NUTS!!! But maybe it is too cold to go out and remove them all?????

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  11. Too funny. I have my 3 wreaths on the house still up of course, and a giant 4 and a half foot one up on the sugarhouse. Aprilish just makes sense. Wreaths are for wintertime. When winter time is over, down they come! Ah NH.

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  12. haha, what a funny regional thing. by jan 1st my wreaths are dead and a fire hazard. a few people do leave their lights up year round though. have a great weekend joan. i'm glad my wallpaper passed your test. the whole time we were measuring and patching i was thinking of you! xo janet

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  13. I guess you didn't get the memo in your Welcome Wagon folder. Everyone knows the wreath stays up until they have pansies at the Home Depot.

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  14. I just took my wreaths down yesterday--the greens were getting brittle/not fresh...Why do I leave them up so long? Inertia, maybe. But I think it's a sign of warmth and cheer in the long bleak winters. Although this winter's been exceptionally warm--it's still sort of bleak.

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  15. Whoa!! That's a crazy amount of wreaths still up! maybe I am part Canadian........when it's done it's done!! Or at least take the red bows off!!

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    1. The RED bows are the best part!! They add a bit of color to a usually bleak colorless winter here in New England!!

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    2. The RED bows are the best part...a little red goes a long way in the sometimes bleak, color-less New England winter! If I could get away with leaving my tree up and decorating it for different holidays, I would....red hearts for Valentine's Day, flags for the 4th etc., I think it would be grand!! LOL Vermont Yankee

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    3. Just realized i am a year late on my reply....typical New England...LOL

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  16. So lovely. These homes are to die for!

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  17. This post just made me laugh. My family and I have lived in NH now for 12 years and we have noticed the same thing. I personally leave my wreath up till Valentines Day, because it's a fresh wreath and it still looks good (no brown). But also because I think the red bow works till then. Our first couple of years here we did the whole deck the outside of the house with Christmas lights and such. But we quickly learned it's just to darned cold or to snowy to safely attempt taking all that stuff down. So it got left for months, which drove me crazy. Now I just stick with a simple wreath.

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  18. These pictures made me smile! It looks like the spirit of Christmas is never ending! I have a hard time tossing anything that is still living. Maybe these people just wait to take their wreaths down to replace them with something for spring!

    Happy Weekend!

    XO,
    Jane

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  19. I've lived in New England all 31 years of my life, and this post was great. We just took our wreath down and its still sitting on the patch of grass in our front yard, because the trash wont take it :) I agree though, wreaths are winter here in NE :)

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  20. Holy cow I can't believe all of those houses! Too funny...although even in Houston there are still quite a few Christmas wreaths hanging and it was 80 degrees yesterday! Even crazier, it's still fall/halloween at handful of homes in my hood with big orange pumpkins on the porch. Just kills me.
    Happy Friday.
    xo~
    T

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  21. I think what we're really seeing here is the New England adage "use it up, wear it out"! Waste not, want not as my Granny said (none of us are New Englanders but we sure are thrifty! That said, my decor gene takes over my thrifty gene every time! Too funny!
    Lorraine

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  22. Gosh, I feel guilty. Christmas starts so early now, I'm ready for it to be gone the day after Christmas.

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  23. I'm usually one who wants all the decorations down by January, but for some reason seeing all your photos kind of made me happy. Christmas is such a happy peaceful time, maybe it's nice that the wreaths linger as a reminder. I wonder if that is the reason. I hope so! Thanks for sharing all the houses and giving this Midwest girl a glimpse of your part of the country!

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  24. OK you are going to think I'm on crack, and this totally could be an old wives tale or just something my crazy family does BUT, I was always told growing up that the Christmas wreaths dont come down till it reaches 39 degrees out. It might not be exactly 39 degrees, but somewhere around there.

    I just called my Dad to double check too, and he was like OH yea thats some old New England thing (again not sure how true it is) but I thought it was funny he knew exactly what I was talking about.

    I'll see if I can research it online more and find a correct answer/ story background that I can find for you.

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  25. In NE wreaths are for Winter time we keep ours up until the end of February, just took them down as a matter of fact last Sunday, a week early :) Put up my St. Patrick's Day flag

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  26. PS- although its been so warm this winter and has most certainly hit 39 already, so I have no idea what those folks excuses are :)

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  27. I love that you are doing posts on living in New England, we forget how different things can be even within our own country. And this sure is different! I will try to be open-minded, but I find Christams decorations after the fact extremely depressing for some reason---it just seems so sad.

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  28. This would drive me CRAZY!!!!! I am feeling bad that I still have a few Valentine things around the house. Made me laugh though:)

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  29. Oh my gosh! This is the strangest tradition. We always take everything down a day or so after Christmas. I'm just wondering. Have you succumbed to this tradition yet?

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  30. We are guilty here in Maine, all
    our wreaths are still hanging!!!!
    It's a New England thingie and ya
    gotta love it!!(: My hubby is from
    the South and it shocked his sox
    off seeing sooo many wreaths hanging from November till April!
    We New Englanders get our moneys
    worth out of our wreaths!!! LOL..
    Smiling,
    Dee from Maine

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  31. How funny! I'm from the midwest and this year is actually the longest I have ever left my Christmas wreath out, I took it down February 1st. Usually, I have all Christmas put away by New Years Day! I kind of like this NE tradition though, it's cute and I look forward to more posts about where you live.

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  32. ...this is so interesting...of course you know that those of us in the south MUST have the christmas decorations down before new year's...or we will have a year of bad luck...but the older i get the longer i want to hold on to christmas...at least a little piece of it...my mother always did that...left one tiny christmas thing out...so that we would "keep christmas in our hearts all year"... and i continue that in my home...there is...indeed... something very christmasy about new england...the weather perhaps...or the traditional architecture of the homes...in any event i think the keeping of the greens is lovely...

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  33. loving all the different comments!

    LindsB- maybe they are waiting for the high to be exactly 39?!!!!!:)

    Jane- No!! I'm a take Christmas down before the New Year kind of girl:)

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  34. Love this....so funny. I love the personalities that different parts of our country have, don't you? Does that mean that because most people here in the metropolitan area of NY that take down their trees and wreaths the DAY after Christmas prove that they really are the "type A", people that the stereotypes portray? I mean literally the next morning the wreaths and trees lay there discarded, not even 24 hours old! LOL.....I definitely belong up in your neck of the woods becuase I only took my tree down in FEBRUARY.....guess I am living in the wrong place...lol!!

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  35. Too funny. We just moved to NH, so I will keep my eyes open and report back...

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  36. My mother would have LOVED this! I LISTEN TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC STARTING IN OCTOBER OR MAYBE BEFORE! I will have to say that my tree and decorations are down before New Years eve.
    Thank you for sharing. I will try to make it up that way during "Chrsitmas!"
    Happy Friday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  37. Oh my word from Oklahoma!!! So when does it change from "because of the weather" to "tradition". Ha! It was fun seeing how another part of the country lives. And I'm thinking to myself...."and they call US rednecks here in Oklahoma!!"

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  38. I think that is a quaint regional tradition. What cute homes too. All out Christmas decorations might bug me, but nothing says winter like greenery and simple bows. We have our urns full of greens still and ice skates for decoration, but the wreaths and lights are gone by Epiphany. For reference, we are in southern Ontario, Canada. Thanks for sharing this lovely post, enjoyed the comments too.

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  39. Joan,
    Reporting traditions or customs for NH is a great idea. Expands our understanding of the things that other regions in the U.S. practice. I live in Southern California, in a planned community with an association. I think you'd get a letter if you left Christmas decorations up past the end of January, but the live wreathes would be dead anyway so they wouldn't be a pretty addition to your home by then.
    That said, I change out my Christmas wreath for a white berry wreath that stays on my door until late September.
    I'm curious too, do you now leave your wreath up past January?
    Karen

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  40. ps...is christmas still reigning inside the houses too...now that would be very very hard for this southerner...(we do have family in new orleans and they have friends who keep the tree up till fat tuesday)

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  41. Karen- my answer is 6 up!!!

    laney- I don't have that answer! I was doing good to not get stopped by the local policemen while driving along and taking photos;) so I'm thinking peeping in the windows might have gotten me in some trouble!! :)

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  42. Guess what's hanging on my front door? My Christmas Wreath! And I am in Georgia, and have never even been to New England.

    Mine is a fresh one, and I just think it is beautiful. As spring approaches, it's get a little crunchy, and I give in!

    Cute post!

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  43. Here in South Carolina everything from
    Christmas is put away by New Years Day. And it is so warm 73 today it
    would be sticks.

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  44. Waste not...
    Hang on to them long enough and they become next years fire starter material and kindling. :-)

    Seriously, it is funny how wreathes do persist long after the other decorations have long since disappeared. Sally is a Memphian. It will be interesting and entertaining for her to compare notes with your observations.

    Cheers,
    John

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  45. WOW! You definitely do NOT see that around here in Cali! LMAO....

    I think you guys can do away with Groundhog day - just wait for people to start taking down their wreaths and then you will know that you only have 6 more weeks of Winter! I guess if they stay up, then yep.....a very long winter!!!

    XOX

    ps - LOVE all the different homes and architectural elements to each of them - especially the one with the ginormous wreath on above their carriage (garage) door! I AM IN L.O.V.E.

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  46. This is so timely for me, as I just took my wreath down this week. I had taken the red bow off, and had just left it hanging as a pine wreath. It was still quite green, so I felt bad to get rid of it earlier. Now if it had started to turn yellow, it would have been gone before now. I live in Nova Scotia, and the weather is cold, but when I lived in Fort Worth, didn't keep the wreath around, as sometimes I was lucky to get it to stay green through Christmas!
    Layne

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  47. How funny! I have never seen this addressed before. My husband and I moved to Boston in the early 90's (we're from Texas) and we still talk about how long the Christmas decorations stayed up. It was record snowfall that year, so we thought that was the reason - people couldn't get to them. However, many of them turned the lights on every night well into April (as you said). I'm all about getting the house cleaned out the day after Christmas, so this was quite the mystery to me.

    I guess it's how they tell the Southerners from the natives.

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  48. Wow, that is so interesting! You never see that here in Maryland. If anything, people seem so anxious to take down all their holiday decorations the minute Christmas is over.

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  49. This cracks me up! We live in a suburb of Atlanta and I was actually thinking of doing a blog post about the same thing. Don't know why it irks me so! We had neighbors that moved in our neighborhood in Oct. They put up Christmas the weekend that they moved in and JUST NOW took it down!

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  50. I love this about New England and didn't really realize just how different it was until we were in PA this year after New Year's and EVERYONE was cleaning up Christmas (inside and out) on Jan. 2. REALLY?? It was a little depressing. I love seeing all the white lights and natural wreaths until spring. Why not enjoy it, eh?

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  51. Ha - are they all waiting to put up a wreath for Easter? Maybe that is why the pine wreath is on the door until April. Here is the hint for anyone who wonders when to take down the wreath - when the tree comes down.
    I feel like chanting 'no more icicle lights' when I see those strings hanging off of a house - YESH!

    But really lovely houses behind it all.

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  52. Haha...I love it though!

    Happy Friday and Merry Christmas!!!
    ;)

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  53. I lived in NY most of my life and took down my Christmas tree and my wreaths at Epiphany. Now that I live in SW Florida, I keep the same tradition. Most of my neighbors take down their decorations during the week between Christmas and New Year.
    I will keep my tradition no matter where I live. Anyway, we can have pansies at the Home Depot here in January, so I'm covered.
    Best...Victoria

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  54. 1. I adore the Saltbox homes!Such a quintessential New England style!
    2. I abhor the lights left on the houses! The wreaths aren't as bad, but the lights....the lights!!!! I drove past a home at the end of January and saw the tree STILL lighted in the window. I try to mind my business, but always do a double take!I always take down my indoor and outdoor decorations the week after the New Year begins.

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  55. If this post confirmed anything, it's the fact that nobody in New England seems to have an ugly house! Wish my town looked that nice!

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  56. much older sister SusanFebruary 24, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    STOP! You are making me miss Beanie!!! (She is originally from Vermont you know.)

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  57. Count me strange, but I like to see a pretty wreath on a door, no matter what the season. As long as their not covered in coloured balls, a fir or pine cone wreath is still pretty in March, and breaks the gloom of mid-winter. (Yes, I have a fir wreath on the door - no red ribbons, just a few nuts and pine cones - it makes me happy).

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  58. This might be a Canadian thing too. My Christmas lights still come on every night; it's too cold to go outside and unplugged the timer.

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  59. I actually love this tradition....unless it screams Christmas like with a big Santa on it. I think the wreath symbolizes the comfort of home during the cold months. . . a big welcome.
    I usually take mine down around the middle of Jan. but now that I think about it, why?
    Your photos are amazing...I could see myself in anyone of those homes. And, I'm really looking forward to this new series of posts. I love New England and I look forward to hearing and seeing through you.
    Have a wonderful weekend ~
    Sarah

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  60. Red bow comes off boxwood wreath on front door by January 1. However, I leave the wreath up for another month. I like it on the door. Not so Christmasy without the bow. I put lit faux evergreens in my outdoor urns during the month of December. Indoor decorations come down around January 1. Christmas decor after early January is annoying to me. Your photo's are really funny. There are so many wreaths!

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  61. Too funny. Here in NC most come down by the first week of January. But yesterday when the temperature was in the 70's, I took a walk and noticed a house up the street still had all their wreaths hanging over every window and their door. Made me do a double take. Maybe they're from New England ;-)

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  62. Sarah- I've actually written a few of these posts... If you go to my sidebar to "Topics of Interest" and click "Living in New England" it will take you to them!

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  63. Oh My - have you ever struck every last nerve lol! I once said if I were ever elected President it would be illegal to have Christmas decorations up in February!! My "favorite" of all was the neighbor not sure of which holiday she was celebraing--Christmas wreaths, valentines hearts AND shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day!! This is in MA.
    Love your blog; love your home; love your observations.
    Denise

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  64. What a fun post! I'm from Tennessee and transplanted in sw Florida. I can remember being sad when my grandmother took her tree down the day after Christmas! We put our decorations up the week after Thanksgiving and leave them up until the end of January. It's so much work and everything is so pretty, we just like to enjoy a little longer. However, this year we had my daughter's wedding after Christmas. I feel like I missed Christmas and I was so tired... so (gasp) the tree is still up. I did take the wreaths and lights off the front porch (so the neighbors wouldn't talk). But the back porch icicle lights are still up and sometimes I turn them on! Everything will come down this weekend. (Although maybe I should just leave the tree up -- only 9 more months till time to start decorating again!) :)

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  65. I lived 25 years in Portland Oregon and currently live in Northern Utah. My personal wreath tradition is to leave the wreath through the end of January. I may need to reconsider my timeline :).

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  66. Joan, Dan, and Ella: How true is this entry! Mike will comment when we see wreaths on homes after January; he just doesn't 'get it'. I do always have something on our doors, but the Christmas wreath is down within a couple weeks of the holiday season. Cindy

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  67. Ha, our greens ( green and lovely ) are still in the large urns by the front door here in Chicago area... fresh snow fall today!

    your post made me smile, thank you!

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  68. Love this post about your beautiful part of the world as well as reading everyone's comments! One of the wreaths looked exactly like a wreath used in the film "Christmas in Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyck! Where I grew up in the Low Country most of our neighbors took all greenery down the day after Christmas, a few left them up if still fresh until New Years or Epiphany at the latest. In Montana Christmas wreaths are sometimes still hanging into March usually without a bow and often alongside an antique pair of skis near an entryway. I seem to notice this more when there's a lot of snow on the ground :), but nothing compared to the array of wreaths you have in New England! Thank you for sharing this unique and fun observation and for all your wonderful photos of these charming homes...and Christmas wreaths!

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  69. Having lived in New England my whole life this it seems is the norm.. One reason I believe this oddity happens is that the winter birds make their nests in some of the wreaths. The latest we have left our wreaths up is the end of February. Sometimes the snow is too deep to get to the windows. Fun post!!

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  70. I love the wreaths still up but I'm not sure about the actual Christmas decorations on some of the homes. I love visiting NE, we try to go each year to visit my family. I'll have to ask them how long they keep their wreaths up. I think I'm going to love your new series!

    Meg

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  71. This post put a smile on my face, reminding me of the two years we lived in the Boston area. Wreaths aren't the only holiday decorations that stay up long after the holiday has passed. I remember all of the Fourth of July banners displayed on houses and porches still appearing well into August. Gotta love New England and their unique way of life. Thanks for the smiles!

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  72. Recipe for Design- too funny, and true! Just the other day Dan was pointing out a neighbors Christmas wreath and 4th of July bunting "still" up!!

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  73. We try to take down all Christmas decorations January 1st or 2nd. I love getting ready for Christmas, but am always ready to go "back to normal". I blame the snow this weekend in Ohio on myself....I left a couple vintage snowmen out and had thought about putting them away yesterday and didn't. One more month of winter weather!
    Wishing for spring, Sara

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  74. Hi Joan! Thank you SO,SO much for your sweet comment on Hill Country House......and you can bet I do not have a Christmas wreath still on my door! I was way too preoccupied in December and January with painting my kitchen once I got my nerve up! What a peculiar tradition, though. I think all of the different comments are quite interesting, though, and it clearly has to do with the part of country you are in and your long, cold winters.

    Dan's observation has to be the funniest, though - I guess there is no room for large Easter bunnies or eggs to be displayed in yards as well, before the 4th of July comes along!!

    Happy weekend to you too! xo Ann

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  75. How funny! I am a little OCD when it comes to any holiday decorations. My Christmas decor has to be down no later than January 1st.

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  76. Hello from the Land of No Christmas Wreaths :(
    I have a Eucalyptus wreath that I put a pretty ribbon on and pretend it is made of evergreens and holly.

    Not only are those a lot of pretty wreaths but I loved every house ! What a collection of old beautiful homes you have in NH !!

    I will have to come take a drive :)
    Until then, kiss Ella for me. ...besitos, C

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  77. Ha! I remember when we lived up that way, we considered it *winter* decorating...not just Christmas. And was fine to be up as long as bulbs weren't pushing through!

    Here....not uncommon to see things down on the DAY after Christmas. sigh.

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  78. I love seeing fresh evergreen or boxwood wreaths without the red bow long after Christmas hanging on doors. I think they are beautiful in their simplicity.
    New England is clearly loaded with beautiful homes and wonderful people, makes me want to move there!

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  79. Wow, you weren't kidding about people still having them up. That's a lot of homes!

    I have to say I am guilty this year too. I got a beautiful Noble Fir wreath with juniper berries on it. It didn't turn brown at all here in Northern Cal, so I kept it up until Valentines and friends were teasing me. It had no bows though and just looked and smelled so good. It seemed a shame to just throw it away!

    In my last neighborhood, we had a lot of Asian families and they tend to leave their lights and decor up until Chinese New Year, much later.

    Kim:)

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  80. So funny! I think the further south you are, the sooner people take Christmas decorations down. That said, I am in Oklahoma and there is a cute cottage house that I drive by every day with a Christmas wreath on the door and a pumpkin on the porch. I tire of things quickly, and am always eager to move on to the next season/holiday. Except autumn, I always wish autumn would linger a little longer.

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  81. That is really funny! And kind of sweet, too. There is one house in our neighborhood that still has it's wreath up and now I wonder if they are native New Englanders!

    Love it when a neighborhood and area has an unspoken understanding, such as this!

    Love this series. Can't wait to read more!!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  82. Awesome photos! I grew up in Rhode Island and currently live in Massachusetts, and I'm still surprised when I see Christmas wreaths hanging on doors. What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

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  83. This post made me laugh! A couple of years ago my husband left the lights up until May. I decided that I wasn't gonna nag. I just got rid of all of them. We now have a beautiful wreath that comes down new years.

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  84. Joan,
    Just Last week, we were up in the ski mountains :upstate:, not really New England but lots of wreaths and lots of lights and it felt like Christmas...and even fir scented candles were lit and the air smelled like the holidays. I love it!
    pve

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  85. This post was hilarious, Joan! (I think you are giving Jason some competition for entertaining posts - haha!) I read it on my phone a couple days ago but when I tried to comment Lola kept "helping" me so I gave up and figured I would try again when I was on my computer. I have to say I am glad I reread it though because I have had fun reading all the new comments tonight too! Even though we are from NH we always had ours down before New Years. In fact, it was always a joke that my dad would be taking the tree down while we were still opening our presents Christmas morning. =) This year because of the photoshoot we had to keep our Christmas stuff up until mid-January and I thought I was literally going to go insane that last week.

    On another note, thank you so much for the sweet card that you sent. That was so thoughtful of you and meant so much!

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  86. How darling are all those houses. They do look very sweet with the wreaths still attached. Perhaps they want to hold onto the Christmas spirit. Jacinta

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  87. I've lived in New England for most of my life and certainly giggled through the post and comments. Never realized until now but my mother did the same. What is the big hurry to dismantle from a holiday that we've spent so much time preparing? My wreaths stay up until they start to brown. It's a lovely ornament for the door. I also don't do red or green so my wreaths don't scream "Christmas", more simply "winter".

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  88. That's just weird! Especially if it's brown, take it down!!!

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  89. SO true! They are up here in Lyme, CT too. NOT on my house though!!

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  90. This is funny...especially since my wreath is still on the front door(no red ribbons) and now that I look out of my window so are 3 of our neighbors...we take our decorations down before Jan 1st but the wreath always stays up until it browns...never really thought about it...spruce, fir, boxwood wreaths always look great all winter in the northeast ..of course without bulbs and overly Christmas-y ribbons.

    Love the post..Nicolle -upstate NY

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  91. Well, I live in CT and yes we leave our wreaths up too, me and my neighbors included. I keep mine up till I change it out with my spring time basket of flowers or a large vintage straw hat. The wreath actually remains green for quite some time and it still retains it's lovely scent.

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  92. i saw many houses who still have wreath on their front door. it looks so cool though its a bit untimely. haha

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  93. Now that Valentine's Day is over I do not know what to put on the front door. Too cold for spring flowers and the valentine wreath needs to go. What does one do when the nail on the door looks tacky.

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  94. Too funny!! We've lived in Vermont for about 2 years now but are native Virginians - I was just pointing out the Christmas wreaths still hanging on every house in our neighborhood to my husband last week!

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  95. A true Yankee is very uncomfortable wasting anything. If a wreath is still green and attractive, a true Yankee sees no reason to take it down and throw it away when there is still use for it. Christmas lights and decorations should come down around New Year's and be carefully stored in the attic to be reused next year. But cut greens can be used and enjoyed until they begin to dry and turn brown. Then the ribbons and pine cones are removed to be reused. The greens may even be removed so the wreath ring can be saved. In my experience, this is why a true Yankee leaves their wreath up so long.
    I suppose, in the South, the heat would dry out greens very quickly and so one would want to take down the greens much sooner than in New England.
    Love your photos. Thanks for posting them, Ruth

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  96. So funny! Not guilty, this year ~ my 17 yr. old was afraid I'd leave it up too long and he'd be embarrassed, so he took all the decorations down (with me wrapping ornaments) on Jan. 6!
    Love your blog! I'm a new follower...so nice to "meet" you! ♥
    Best,
    Anne

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  97. Okay, I'm laughing right out loud, as I just took the wreath off of my garage THIS MORNING! I just really didn't notice it until today. And, well, the front door one made it until after Valentines. So, it happens in Massachusetts, too, I must admit! I can't believe New England stands alone on this. Do we????

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  98. That is an interesting tradition. I live in Tennessee and a lot of people around here leave up their decor until mid-February. I'm originally from Ga. and had never heard of such until I moved to Tn. Great pics of a beautiful place.

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  99. I too am an Ontarian but hail from Canada's Capital city and we are encouraged to at least keep our Christmas Lights up until the end of our Winterlude festivities. (Feb. 3rd to the 20th.) Personally as much as I enjoy exterior Xmas decor like the devine ones you posted, I say "time to move on folks" and I take mine down as soon as possible! I guess I am rebel in that way. :) -Brenda-
    P.S: No promises that I'll even have my lights up, but come join us next year and skate the World's longest skating rink which is 4.35 miles long and called The Rideau Canal Skateway.

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  100. This drove me ABSOLUTELY NUTS when I first moved to New England. I have gotten over it now-after almost 6 years. ha ha!

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  101. Well, here it is almost a year later & I presume the same predicament... post-New Year's to early March is perhaps the most challenging time of the year to decorate, both inside & out. In answer to Rebecca's query about what to put on the front door for a change from the Holidays but which is still "in season," how about a fresh evergreen or lichen/moss-covered twigs/decorative dried foliage spray spilling out of a basket? (The other day we discovered some brilliant red bare branches on a local nature trail which I think we'll include.) Or an old fishing creel or sap bucket to hold them instead of a wreath w/glittery ornamts. (which says "Christmas")? Winter birds from the craft store, antlers or something vintage/antique & winter-related could also be attached (old skates/caps/other accessories, wooden tops or other simple wood/metal toys, decorative pieces of old architectural salvage, bits of winter-themed sheet music or other graphics, etc.). After all the hustle & bustle of the end of the year, it seems the best time to reconnect with both the quietness of nature & that within ourselves... & just because the Holiday merchandising industry doesn't officially recognize this season doesn't mean that we can't--in a creative, tasteful manner in tune w/nature. Enjoy this rare opportunity for deep personal & interpersonal renewal!

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