When Should You Put Up Christmas Decorations? A Decorator Weighs In

Yes, there is such a thing as "too soon" when it comes to putting up your Christmas tree!

When it comes to Christmas decorations, it seems like just about every neighbor or passerby has an opinion: too bright, too dull, too soon, or not Christmas-y enough. But while most of these not-so-jolly criticisms can be safely ignored as the mutterings of jealous and judgmental individuals, there are some rules to keep in mind when decorating your home for Christmas. And, like leaving milk and cookies out for Santa, putting your tree and lights up at the right time is among those vital traditions. So, when should you put up those Christmas decorations? We asked the experts to weigh in—and it turns out, there is such a thing as "too soon."

According to Christina Hill, decoration coordinator at Hassle Free Christmas Tree, you can safely ignore the "rather traditional" practice of saving your Christmas tree decorating until Christmas Eve. She notes there's no need to prolong the wait until the last moment. And, at the same time, you can also ignore the traditional belief that you should set up your tree and decorations "at the beginning of Advent," says Hill. As per the classic chocolate-filled calendars of the same name, this is a period that includes the four Sundays before Christmas—giving you 28 days of holiday cheer prior to the big day.

Still, it's important to note that you can also have too much time to bask in your Christmas decorations. According to most experts, the kick-off date for decorating is the end of the holiday prior. After all, it can be odd to have guests over for Thanksgiving dinner when they're sitting next to a fully-decorated Christmas tree. With that in mind, "the Saturday following Thanksgiving is the best time to put up Christmas decorations," says Debra Carpenter, director of marketing at Flashmarks. That means, Nov. 30 is your day to start putting up your Christmas decorations this year.

This date simultaneously maximizes the time you spend surrounded by tokens of the joyous holiday, while also allowing you to spend your Thanksgiving away from wreaths and all that red and green. But why Saturday and not Friday, you ask? Simple, says Carpenter: "You'll be exhausted from all the cooking, cleaning, and entertaining. The last thing you'll want to do is drag out boxes of decorations the very next day." (Plus, there are some pretty good Black Friday sales to fill your time with on the day after Thanksgiving.)

All of that being said, we know the commercial and social pressures are stacked against you. "Every year, Christmas markets open sooner than the previous one," Hill notes. (Why? To increase revenue, of course.) But whenever you feel like putting out a nutcracker in late October, remember each holiday deserves its time for appropriate decorations. And don't worry: You'll be able to hang those stockings soon enough!

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