When Is the Best Time to Put Together Christmas Decorations?

by Staff

Determining the best time to assemble Christmas decorations can be both a joyous and thoughtful process, defined by numerous factors ranging from cultural customs to individual preferences.

While some eagerly string up their sparkling lights immediately following Thanksgiving, others prefer to hold off until December’s chill firmly sets in.

The decision is deeply personal and often depends on various elements, including family traditions, climatic conditions, and the rhythm and pace of individual lifestyles.

Cultural and Personal Factors Influencing Your Decision

When choosing the proper timeline for sprucing your living space with festive adornments, several factors can guide your decision:

Cultural Traditions

Christmas decorating frequently starts shortly after Thanksgiving, observed on the fourth Thursday of November in nations like the United States and Canada.

The start of the holiday season has occurred at this point. In contrast, certain European countries emphasize decorating four Sundays before Christmas, at the beginning of Advent.


The ideal decorating period is greatly influenced by the weather, particularly outside. If you reside somewhere with freezing winters, hang your exterior decorations while the conditions are tolerable.


Individual and Family Preferences

Every family has its unique rhythm, and your family’s preferences weigh heavily. Some families enjoy decorating with charming garlands and other lovely decorations early, prolonging the warm, cozy feeling Christmas decorations induce. Contrarily, others might treasure making it a closer-to-Christmas activity, heightening the festive anticipation.

Local Events

Neighborhood or city lighting ceremonies and parades may influence your timeline, encouraging you to share in the community-wide festive spirit.


Busy schedules factor into the decision as well. Depending on leisure time available between work, school, or travel plans, some families may need to start the decorating process early or leave it for later.

Examining these factors closely can help you identify the most suitable timeline for your Christmas decorating venture.

Starting Early: A Closer Look

Initiating the decorating process ahead of time has its own merits and flaws.


  • An Extended Festive Season: Early decorating allows for a prolonged holiday season, giving ample time to bask in the festive atmosphere and ensure your efforts are worth it.
  • A Stress Deterrent: Tackling the task of decorating early can distribute the workload over a more extensive timeline, minimizing the usually associated stress and allowing for more time to plan other holiday-related activities like shopping and cooking.
  • A Mood Lifter: As winter arrives and daylight dwindles, Christmas lights and decorations can add a cheery glow to your home, uplifting spirits and countering seasonal gloom.


  • The Threat of Holiday Fatigue: While an extended festive period may seem attractive, it can also herald holiday fatigue, making Christmastime feel less special or overwhelming.
  • The Risk of Over-commercialization: Christmas decorations popping up in early November can fuel a feeling of over-commercialization, potentially dampening the holiday season’s true spirit.
  • Budgetary Constraints: An extended period of festive illumination can increase the electricity bill and require careful budgeting. There might also be additional costs for maintaining outdoor decoration during inclement weather.

Decorating Later: Advantages and Disadvantages

Choosing to decorate late has its own set of benefits and drawbacks:


  • Budget-friendly: Decorating your house close to Christmas can save money, particularly electricity costs. Time spent on managing and maintaining the decorations also reduces.
  • Preserving Freshness: If you use a real Christmas tree or fresh garlands and wreaths, decorating late ensures they stay vibrant and fresh throughout the holiday season.
  • Maintaining Tradition: Many adhere to the age-old Christian tradition of decorating just 12 days before Christmas and removing decorations 12 days after, on Epiphany.


  • Short-lived Joy: Waiting until mid-December to start decorating can lessen the time to enjoy the cheer those twinkling lights and shiny baubles bring.
  • Deteriorating Weather Conditions: Waiting to put up outdoor decorations until December can be a chilly, less enjoyable task in colder climates.
  • Increased Holiday Stress: If left too late, decorating can become another stressful chore in the hectic holiday season.

Ensuring a Smooth Decorating Experience

Whenever you choose to unravel your Christmas decorations, following these tips can ensure a joyful and hassle-free experience:

  • Plan: Like any significant task, laying out a decorating plan ahead of time reduces stress and helps maintain a fun, relaxed atmosphere devoid of unnecessary last-minute store runs.
  • Take Inventory: Before you begin, stock all your existing decorations. Check what’s intact, what needs repairing, and what needs replacing.
  • Enlist Help: Decorating can be a manageable task. Involving your family or neighbors, transforming a potentially overwhelming chore into a jovial, memory-making event.
  • Prioritize Safety: Irrespective of your decorating timeline, always prioritize safety. Be cautious of potential fire hazards, electrical issues, or tripping incidents.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the ideal time to decorate for Christmas truly lies in the hearts and hands of the celebrants. Whether you opt for an early or late beginning, the aim remains to embrace and celebrate the Christmas spirit in all its warmth and goodwill. Happy decorating!

About the Author/s

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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