Is It Too Early to Decorate for Christmas? (Here’s When…)

Is It Too Early to Decorate for Christmas?

Decorating for Christmas is such an exciting time of the year. It’s a way to welcome the holiday season and bring lots of warmth and cheer into your home. But some of us get excited a little too soon. Exactly how early is too early to decorate for Christmas?

In general, decorating for Christmas usually begins after Thanksgiving ends. However, when you choose to decorate for Christmas is entirely up to you. Always make sure you know the rules of your community, as decorating early may upset neighbors and be against your HOA’s regulations.

But don’t fret. We’re answering all your questions on how you can decorate for Christmas at the appropriate time and some tips on how to decorate earlier if you can’t wait any longer. 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

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It also means that you’re able to buy your decorations and Christmas trees ahead of time before everything is sold out or backordered.

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When Should You Start Decorating for Christmas?

When to start decorating for Christmas is a personal choice, but ideally, anytime after Thanksgiving is a great time to start. Aim for the first week of December and you will be right in the sweet spot.

Many people have a strong connection to Thanksgiving and therefore don’t want any other holiday taking its limelight. To be cautious of your neighbor’s and family’s wishes, it is, therefore, best to start decorating once Thanksgiving has been celebrated.

Additionally, Fall decorations tend to be more suitable for Thanksgiving as opposed to Christmas decorations. But you’re probably wondering exactly how early you can start decorating for Christmas.

How Early Can You Decorate for Christmas?

You can start decorating for Christmas as soon as Thanksgiving has ended. This allows for Thanksgiving to be respected without being overshadowed by Christmas. 

However, it is possible to lightly decorate for Christmas if you absolutely can not wait any longer. Start with your white twinkle lights and maybe some red plaid blankets and pillows. These decor items can subtly transition into Christmas. 

Additionally, if you can’t wait until Thanksgiving, you can start by decorating inside your home instead of outside. This will be less offensive to your neighbors who may be disturbed by early Christmas decor.

You might also enjoy our post on Should I Decorate for Christmas Before Thanksgiving?

Is It Bad to Decorate for Christmas Early?

It is not necessarily bad to decorate for Christmas early. However, if you can’t wait any longer, start decorating inside your house first and gradually begin decorating outside.

This way, you will not upset any Grinch’s that may live in your neighborhood or disobey and rules and regulations implemented by your HOA. 

Once Thanksgiving is over, you can start dressing your tree and putting up the stockings. If you begin to decorate any earlier, it may appear tacky or give you bad luck.

Is It Considered Bad Luck to Decorate Before Christmas?

Some people do consider it bad luck to decorate before Christmas, but it can either be bad luck or not lousy luck, depending on your superstitious beliefs.

Essentially, if you believe it is bad luck then, it is. But, generally speaking, many people decorate before Christmas Eve, and it doesn’t seem to change their fate in any way. In fact, you can reap the benefits if you decorate before Christmas! 

Why Is It Good to Decorate for Christmas Early?

Decorating early for Christmas can allow you more time for Christmas-specific commitments such as work Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, and planning family visits. 

The Christmas season is a busy time for everyone, and sometimes Christmas decorating can get in the way of more important things. So if you feel like your schedule will be packed until Christmas, plan on getting your Christmas decorations up early, but not too early. 

Is August Too Early to Decorate for Christmas?

August is likely considered too early to decorate for Christmas by many. The reason being is because Christmas occurs in the Winter, and August is the end of summer transitioning into Fall.

And in the Fall, one celebrates Halloween and Thanksgiving and THEN Christmas. So, it’s best to hold off on your Christmas decorations until at least Halloween is over if you want your decor to be relevant. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is to decorate for the holiday that occurs during that season. When it is Fall, you decorate for Fall and Thanksgiving. When it is Winter, you decorate for Christmas.

Decorating for Christmas in September

September is usually considered too early to decorate for Christmas. Although most department stores have already decorated half of their aisles for Christmas, wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate your house. 

Even if you live in the northern states, it is still very hot in September and the leaves haven’t even changed color yet. It is best to wait until at least Fall to even think about decorating for Christmas.

However, if you need to switch up your home decor, start decorating with cozy candles and pumpkins for Fall. This decor can transition into Thanksgiving, and then, once Thanksgiving is over, you can put up your Christmas decor.

Side note: If you’re stuck in between decorating for Fall or decorating for Christmas, we have a great blog post about whether or not it’s too late to decorate for Fall

You might also enjoy our post on Is It Too Late to Decorate for Fall?

Can You Decorate for Christmas in August?

If you must decorate for Christmas in August, decorate the inside of your home and not the outside. Your neighbors will likely be irritated if they see Christmas decor too early, and your HOA may also have strict rules against decorating that early.

Always check the rules and regulations of your HOA if you’re thinking of decorating that early for Christmas. Then, suppose you can’t hold back, set up some Christmas decorations in your bedroom or bathroom- somewhere that will be the least offensive to visitors. 

How Do You Decorate for Christmas?

Decorating for Christmas can begin with the Christmas tree followed by other greenery such as fresh garland and wreaths. Cozy up your home with scented candles and pillows and blankets of deep red hues.

Here are some great ways that you can start decorating for Christmas to make your home feel like the holidays:

  • Start with the Christmas tree and then hang some fresh garland on your fireplace mantlepiece or around a doorway
  • Hang a wreath on your front door and add a fresh centerpiece full of acorns and artificial cranberries to your dining room table
  • Place candles in the windows and on bookshelves.

If you run out of decor, head to your nearest Target, and you won’t be short of inspiration. They even have great decor items that give off a unique Christmas scent. 

How Do I Make My House Smell Like Christmas?

You can make your house smell more like Christmas by getting a real Christmas tree this year instead of an artificial one. Having fresh garland, pine, and holiday scented candles will also help your house smell more like the Christmas season.

Your Christmas tree will emit the most authentic Christmas smell – if it is real – also fresh garland. The scent of pine will be sure to bring back some beautiful Christmas memories. 

Other scents to add to your home for Christmas are cranberry, cinnamon, and vanilla. Try purchasing candles with these scents or room sprays

When to Decorate for Christmas in the South?

If you live in the South, the best time to decorate for Christmas is any time after Thanksgiving. This allows people to celebrate Thanksgiving without being overwhelmed by irrelevant Christmas decor.

December 1st is the perfect time to set up your Christmas decorations if you live in the South. December is associated with Christmas, and no other holidays fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas so, hang those stockings!

Can You Decorate for Christmas After Halloween?

You can definitely decorate for Christmas after Halloween but try to use transitional pieces as much as possible so your Thanksgiving doesn’t feel like Christmas. 

For example, any Fall decorations that aren’t overly yellow or orange can transition great into Christmas, like plaid blankets, artificial squashes and gords, and twinkle lights. 

Try to decorate for Christmas as much as possible indoors before Thanksgiving. Once Thanksgiving is over you can start your outdoor decorations.

Is It Too Late to Decorate for Christmas?

If it is not Christmas yet, then you still have time to decorate for Christmas. Any time before Christmas Eve is acceptable. 

That is if you have time. If you find yourself scrambling to put up last-minute decorations, start with the tree, which is an essential part. Then, add some candles you might already have and use left-over Christmas decorations from last year to put together something nice.

Thankfully, you have some time to leave your Christmas decorations up if you got a late start. 

How Long Do You Leave Christmas Decorations Up?

You can leave Christmas decorations up throughout New Years and until the first week of January, although later is acceptable if you have family staying for an extended amount of time and want to keep the holidays going.

It is no surprise that people want to keep the joy and spirit of Christmas alive for as long as possible. That being said, it is customary to leave your Christmas tree up for New Year’s Eve and at least a week after.

The rule of thumb is once your visitors have left and you’re back to your regular programming, it’s time to take down the decor. 

How Long Do You Decorate for Christmas?

You can decorate for Christmas for a month to a month and a half. Typically, from the beginning of December to the first week of January.

Christmas decorations work great for New Year’s Eve and don’t tend to disturb anyone. Additionally, the days between Christmas and New Year go fast, and you want to focus on spending time with your family instead of taking down decorations. 

Related Questions

When to Decorate for Christmas in Canada?

Since Thanksgiving falls in October in Canada, Canadians can’t use the “right after Thanksgiving” guideline to decide when to start decorating for Christmas. Thus, decorating for Christmas in Canada usually begins mid-November to early December. 

You can also use the weather as a guideline. If all the leaves have fallen off the trees and the snow is starting to fall, this is a very relevant time to start decorating for Christmas. Since it already looks like Christmas, you might as well start decorating for it! 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of when it is the most appropriate time to start decorating for Christmas.

The general rule of thumb is to start decorating after Thanksgiving if you live in the states, and mid-November if you live in Canada, or earlier if it’s a particularly snowy year.