When should you start decorating for Christmas? It's a question that divides us all. In one camp you have the festive fanatics who are itching to put up the tree as soon as Halloween is over. On the other hand, there are the Grinches, who'd happily go without seeing a single Christmas light until the day of the 25th (and even then they'll complain that it's too over-the-top). Most of us seem to fall on one side or the other, but who's right?
Really, there are no hard and fast rules about when you should start decking the halls with festive baubles, tinsel and twinkling lights. If you have young children, putting up the tree as early as 1st November might be the best option just to see their faces light up at the sight of it each morning. Others with busier work schedules might not bother with any hint of decoration until Christmas eve.
Although most of us wait until after Thanksgiving before we start preparations for the biggest holiday of the year, tradition tells us there are more rigid dates we should take note of when it comes to Christmas decorations. There are also some practical factors we should be aware of, too (after all, no one wants a tree that's lost all its needles before the big day).
Before you rush to the garage to fetch your decorations, read on to hear from professional stylists and designers for their insight on when to start on those Christmas decorating ideas (unless of course it's already too late...)
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to sharing articles that help readers embrace emerging trends and keep up-to-date with changing styles to keep in tune with the seasons. For this piece, she spoke with designers and stylists to learn the perfect time we should start decorating for Christmas
Add a contemporary touch to your dining room table with this set of three glistening gold taper candle holders, from Kirkland's. Their charming, industrial style is perfect for a modern look while versatile shape and design makes them perfect for use the rest of the year round!
Is it too soon for Christmas decorations?
Much to some peoples' dismay, there's never such a thing as too early for Christmas. There is however such a thing as Christmas decorating etiquette. As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to hold off the adorning your home with garlands and poinsettias until Thanksgiving is out of the way.
'I prefer to decorate post-Thanksgiving giving my fall decor a proper moment to shine,' says designer Lauren Sullivan of Well x Design. As Lauren notes, not only does this allow you to focus on the celebration behind Thanksgiving without Christmas edging its way in, but it also allows the date to creep that little bit closer to the month of December which some would say is a more acceptable time.
There's also the fact that holding back from putting up the Christmas tree helps you to appreciate the special day even more once it rolls around. As Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors explains: 'Some may call me a Scrooge because I refuse to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but for me, condensing the holiday season makes it just that much more special.'
She continues: 'I find it quite jarring the first week of November to see skeletons across the street from Santas and jack-o-lantern's facing off with Christmas trees. For our family, it has become a tradition to set up our tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which kicks off our holiday decorating for the season.'
Bring a soft, luxe touch to your tablescape or mantel with this set of velvet trees from Lulu and Georgia. With a beadwork trim that glistens in the light, this eye-catching trio will get your guests talking and offer your festive home a refined textural accent full of cheer
When should you traditionally put up Christmas decorations?
The long and short of it is, you should put your Christmas decorations up whenever works best for you. That said, Yuletide is all about embracing traditions, so it wouldn't be right to not mention them here.
Traditionally, the official day to start decorating your home, including your tree and Christmas wreath, is on Advent Sunday - the fourth Sunday before Christmas day. While this can fall as early as the November 27 (as is the case this year) most of us wait until the first weekend of December. 'Most find that right after Thanksgiving is a great time to decorate, but there really is no right or wrong when it comes to your decorating,' says Mac Harman, CEO of Balsam Hill. 'Whatever works best for you and your home is great!'
Bring the spirit of the season into your home with this mini 14 inch wreath from Kirkland's. The glistening red berries and fir sprigs offer bright hues to fill your space with festive charm in tradition green and red colors. These faux decorations will last year after year, too.
What practical factors should you consider?
If now feels like the right time to start hanging the baubles in your home, don't let us hold you back! However, there are some practical factors you might want to consider beforehand, especially if you usually buy a real Christmas tree.
Certain types of pine tree are particularly prone to shedding their needles and in the warmth of your home, this will be accelerated. No one wants to be greeted by a bare tree on Christmas day, so it might be a good idea to way until the first or second week of December to put up your authentic tree.
'If your tree is artificial, you really have no restrictions on when you put your tree up as it’s going to stay looking its best for the whole of Christmas and into the New Year. However, if you opt for a real tree, you’re going to be a little more limited in the time frame your tree can survive,' Mac notes. 'It's generally recommended that a live tree can last around four weeks- using this timeframe you can work your way backward from when you’re hoping to take your tree down.'
There's also the fact that Christmas decorations can take up a lot of space. If you have kids and pets, you might want to hold back from diving into your Christmas living room decor as early as November since there will inevitably be more damages and limited space!
If you’re looking for classic ornaments for your tree, these fit the bill perfectly. The glass finish in red, green and gold looks traditionally beautiful and we love the variety of shapes that come in the pack.
When should Christmas decorations come down?
Remember the carol 'The 12 Days of Christmas'? Well, many of us forget the actual meaning behind it. While Christmas day is the primary day of celebrations, in true Christian tradition, it only marks the very first day of Christmas. These dates dictate that the twelfth night of Christmas is the time you should be taking down your festive decor, which falls on January 5.
Add a little softness to your tree with this playful star decoration from Lulu and Georgia. The silken, smooth touch of velvet adds texture to your space while the beaded trim gleams with effortless charm to make your festive interior feel cozy and chic.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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