Opinion: When is it appropriate to put Christmas decorations up?

Ann Pomeroy and Simon Hodge

Creative Commons

Simon Hodge – After Thanksgiving (at the earliest)

As Halloween passes and November starts you’ll notice large inflatable Santas and Christmas lights popping up everywhere as you drive around. Some Christmas fanatics may spend hundreds of dollars to decorate their front yards and show their Christmas spirit. As November starts however, I believe people get too caught up in the Christmas spirit and forget about what November is all about, Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful for everything you have. Thanksgiving is also one of the lesser commercialized major holidays in American society and seeing Christmas decorations up before you celebrate feels apathetic toward the meaning of the holiday. Commercialization drives the Christmas season and it is no help that Black Friday is just one day after Thanksgiving so some people may think of Thanksgiving as just a gateway into their holiday shopping. 

If you do choose to wait and put decorations up after Thanksgiving it can give you something to look forward to after the holiday. You also bypass getting rid of the excitement of putting decorations up, if you do it too early. In my opinion, it does not feel like you are decorating at all for the Christmas season when you put up your decorations before Thanksgiving.

According to Confused, two thirds of people say that the Christmas season officially starts in December so when many people see Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving it is bound to cause some people to get annoyed. This can be even worse when you end up seeing or even living next to one of the homes that gets just a little too into decorating and ends up lighting the entire block up at night.

Lighting the entire block up does not just refer to luminescence, it can also be literal. According to nfpa, on average there are 160 christmas tree related fires per year. According to USA Today, having trees inside homes earlier just prolongs the risk of something happening, mainly a higher chance of the tree drying out just a few weeks into December.

Putting up Christmas decorations early also comes with a risk for bad luck. According to Metro Lifestyle, traditionally Christmas trees were put up on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and if put up any sooner you would be deemed unlucky. 

At the end of the day it is your call when you put up decorations and as holiday excitement rolls around in November you will probably feel the urge to begin decorating. However, in future years you may take into consideration whether or not you are actually fully experiencing the Thanksgiving holiday prior to moving on to the Christmas season.

Creative Commons


Ann Pomeroy – Whenever you see fit

As the season progresses and the holidays come nearer, the primary topic on many people’s minds is how best to celebrate. While many families have traditions such as eating brunch together on Christmas morning or making cookies for Santa, a widely known tradition is the decorating aspect of the holidays. This long reigning tradition dating back to as early as 1605 brings joy to thousands throughout the holiday season. However, the one fault surrounding decorating for the holidays is the debate on when is it socially acceptable to officially begin decorating.

According to TinyPrints, most families who celebrate for the Christmas holiday begin decorating after Thanksgiving while others may decide to wait as late as Dec. 1 as the decorations are only specific to the month. Personally, I think that there should be no limitation as to when families can begin decorating as the main importance is the togetherness of the event.

In the late summer of 2020, after a whim trip to Hobby Lobby my family brought home a new Christmas tree for the holidays. Although it took some convincing, I was able to successfully talk my parents into letting us put up and decorate the tree prior to even Halloween. The one stipulation was that instead of being decorated for the Christmas holiday, it was for the fall season. This act, in my opinion, extended our joy that accompanies the holiday season and provided for even more family time getting to decorate for fall and redecorate for Christmas.

Housebeautiful states that putting up Christmas decorations early in the year actually extends the excitement of the festive season. Bridging time from your own childhood memories, it is expected to even make you happier. All the more reason to begin to put up decorations earlier than expected.

Overall, I feel that the decision of whether or not to put up Christmas and holiday decorations early is left to the family to decide. Let’s say you have siblings or other extended family members that are typically not present in the home but help decorate for Christmas. This, then may prevent someone from decorating early because they are waiting until the whole family is home and able to decorate together.

As long as you are happy about when you begin decorating and are able to withstand possible criticism then I believe that you are free to begin whenever you wish. However, I would suggest that you try something different in regards to decorating this season, maybe with the addition of a new ornament, inflatable or wreath. It can be exciting to look forward to a ‘new’ aspect of decorating each year.

All in all, decorate when you wish, but make decorating a memorable event by spending quality time with family and friends and truly allow the decorating experience to prompt your holiday cheer and excitement.