As the air turns cool and leaves fall, the holiday season approaches. In October, we think of autumn and Halloween. However, once November arrives, it can get a bit tricky to decide when to start getting ready for Christmas. The question of when to decorate for Christmas can stir some debate. Should you set up your Christmas tree before Thanksgiving? Should you only decorate it on Christmas Eve? Finding the right time isn’t always easy, and it’s essential to strike a balance between being too early and waiting until the last minute.
To help clear up the confusion, here’s our guide to the perfect time to start decorating for Christmas.
For many people in the United States, the moment Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are tucked in the fridge, the Christmas decorating floodgates swing wide open. It’s like a race to start the holiday season, and Christmas decorations are the starting gun. The day after Thanksgiving, or even the very night of, is when the tinsel, lights, and ornaments make their annual debut.
This timing makes sense in a way. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season in the U.S., with its parades, feasts, and family gatherings. Once the Thanksgiving table is cleared, it’s only natural to transition into Christmas mode. It’s like one big holiday celebration that stretches from late November through the New Year.(See more Thanksgiving decorations)
Now, there’s another group of folks who prefer to wait a little longer. They look at the calendar and think, “Let’s give Thanksgiving its due time.” These are the “Early December Enthusiasts.” They’re all about enjoying each holiday on its own without rushing things.
For them, the first week of December is the magic moment when Christmas decorations come out of hibernation. It’s a conscious choice to let Thanksgiving have its spotlight before diving headfirst into Christmas. It’s a way to fully enjoy one holiday at a time.
The Advent Approach
If you’ve ever seen a calendar with little numbered windows counting down to Christmas, you’re looking at an Advent calendar. In some Christian traditions, Advent is a special time of preparation for Christmas. It usually begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, and that’s when the decorating magic happens.
So, those who follow the Advent approach wait until that special day to decorate their homes. It’s a beautiful way to synchronize the religious significance of Christmas with the physical preparations for the holiday. Advent calendars, wreaths, and candles often play a significant role in this tradition.
Decorate Christmas When It Feels Right
While these are some common approaches, the truth is there’s no strict rule about when to decorate for Christmas. It’s a “when it feels right” kind of thing. Some folks start early because they adore the holiday season, while others wait until later because they like to keep things low-key. (Related: 30 Best Cheap Christmas Decorations Under $25)
For many, the entire month of December is an open canvas for decorating. They gradually build up their Christmas magic, adding a bit here and a bit there as the days go by. It’s a methodical approach that extends the joy of decorating throughout the month.
The Christmas Creep
Now, there’s something important to note. In recent years, a phenomenon known as the “Christmas Creep” has become more noticeable. It’s when Christmas decorations and merchandise start appearing in stores earlier and earlier, sometimes as early as October.
The Christmas Creep can be a bit polarizing. Some people love it, as it allows them to enjoy the holiday spirit for a more extended period. Others feel it dilutes the specialness of Christmas by stretching it too thin.
It’s also interesting to note that the timing of Christmas decorations varies around the world. In some countries, like the Philippines, Christmas festivities start as early as September. Other places, such as Germany, kick off their Christmas markets in late November, which is when the decorations truly come alive.
Why Do We Decorate Christmas Early?
So, why do we even decorate for Christmas, let alone do it early? There are a few reasons:
1. Creating an Atmosphere:
Christmas decorations are all about setting the right mood. They transform our surroundings into a magical winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights and festive colors. These decorations bring the holiday spirit to life, making our homes feel warm and inviting.
2. Tradition and Ritual:
For many families, decorating for Christmas is a cherished tradition. It’s a time when loved ones come together to deck the halls, hang ornaments on the tree, and tell stories of holidays past. This bonding time is a significant part of the holiday experience.
3. Anticipation and Excitement:
Early decorating can be a way to build excitement for the holiday season. It’s like a countdown to the big day. The act of setting up decorations can bring joy and anticipation, especially for children who can’t wait for presents and Santa.
4. Spreading Cheer:
Christmas decorations aren’t just for your own enjoyment; they’re also for others. When you decorate your home, you’re sharing the holiday spirit with your neighbors and community. It’s like a way of saying, “Let’s all celebrate together.”
The Joy of Decorating for Christmas
For many, the joy of decorating for Christmas is a highlight of the holiday season. It’s a chance to get creative, express your unique style, and add your personal touch to the season. Some folks have themed trees, like a winter wonderland or a collection of cherished ornaments. Others go all out with outdoor lights and inflatables. There are no rules when it comes to decorating; it’s all about what brings you joy.
The tradition of Christmas decorations has been around for centuries. It’s evolved from simple Christmas wreaths and candles to elaborate light displays and themed decorations. (And more decorations like Christmas inflatable decoration, Christmas porch decorations, DIY Christmas Decorations)And even though the timing may vary, the essence remains the same: to celebrate the season, create a magical atmosphere, and bring people together.
In the end, when to decorate for Christmas is a personal choice. Some like to dive in as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, while others wait until the calendar officially flips to December. There are those who embrace the religious significance of Advent, and there are the “whenever it feels right” decorators.
Regardless of when you start, the goal remains the same: to create a festive and joyful atmosphere, celebrate tradition, and share the holiday spirit with those around you. So, whenever you decide to deck the halls and trim the tree, may your Christmas decorations bring warmth, cheer, and a touch of magic to your home.
Here are more Christmas inspiration you may also like: