When to Start Decorating for Christmas

Last Updated: Aug 14, 2019

The air is getting brisker and almost all of the leaves have fallen off the trees. It’s time to start decorating for Christmas. Most people start decorating for Christmas after Thanksgiving. Some people choose to wait until December 1st for some decorations because they are specific to the month.

For the most part, when you decide to decorate for Christmas is up to you. However, try not to decorate before Thanksgiving so that you can focus on one holiday at a time. This guide will help to inform you about when specific parts of decorations should be put up.

Jump to a specific section to answer your question

decorating with baby

Putting up the Tree

Decorating a Christmas tree is a great way to spend time with family during the holidays. When families start putting up the tree depends on the kind of tree they have. If you have a fake tree, almost anytime after Thanksgiving is traditionally appropriate. Real trees normally last for about a month with proper care. So, if you plan on having a real tree you need to make sure it doesn’t dry out before Christmas. Stay on the safe side, and consider putting up a real tree either the weekend or two weekends after Thanksgiving. Once you put up the tree the fun of decorating it begins.

Hanging Christmas Lights

Hanging lights on the front of a house is a staple of Christmas. Some people decide to leave them throughout the seasons because it takes a lot of work to hang them each year. If you want to hang them up early, wait until after Halloween to put them up. Normally, people wait until after Thanksgiving to hang them up. A good thing to remember is that by stringing lights you are sharing them with the rest of the world. So, if you hang them up early or if they are already up, don’t light them until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Decorating the Front of the House

Decorating the front of the house for Christmas is a tradition in many houses. From hanging wreaths to putting blow up Santa Claus decorations on the lawn, decorating a house makes it look extremely festive.

If you are hanging wreaths, you can do that as early as you want. Keep in mind that this does depend on the style of the wreath. If your wreath has big red bows and ornaments on it, wait to hang it up until after Thanksgiving. However, if it’s plain or incorporates fall colors, hang it after Halloween.  

While everyone loves blow up decorations, they definitely belong in the Christmas category. Because of this, you should wait until after Thanksgiving to put them on your lawn. Some would even say to wait until two weeks after Thanksgiving. If you do that, Thanksgiving has had time to pass before the giant decorations are out for display.

christmas tree and presents

Decorating the Mantle

Stockings and pictures along the mantle truly complete a house during Christmas. Decorating the mantle at Christmas is not only fun but also tradition in most houses. If you decorate your mantle at Thanksgiving, you can simply switch it out after Thanksgiving. You can also decorate your mantle before Thanksgiving with something simple like pine tree garland.

If you put stockings and ornaments on the mantle you should wait until after Thanksgiving. However, if you want to decorate with them beforehand, it isn’t frowned upon. This is because it is the interior of your house.  

Dining Room Table Decor

The dining table is a definite focal point during the holidays. Because of this, wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate it with Christmas decor. You will most likely be using this table for Thanksgiving. Because of this, will want to keep it Thanksgiving themed during the big dinner. The days following, you can go all out with fake snow, decorated gingerbread houses or twinkle lights on the table.

decorating with kids

Around the House Decor

There are millions of items that qualify as around the house decor, especially at Christmas. From wall art to advent calendars, it’s hard to determine when to put everything out.

Wall art and festive pillows can come out when you start decorating the rest of the house. Typically, this will be the weekend after Thanksgiving. If you have advent calendars, these should come out on December 1st. If you display Christmas cards, you can put a holder or a Christmas card display by the door after Thanksgiving. As you receive cards, you can add them to these decorations. You can also use them to display older cards from friends and family.

Decorating the house at Christmas is an exciting event. From the garland hanging on the mantle to the lights hanging on the house, there is a lot to do. Remember that your outdoor decorations are shared with the world and you should be respectful of that. Turning on the Christmas lights and blowing up decorations on the lawn before Thanksgiving may not be the most respectful.

For the rest of your decorations it’s mostly your own choice when you put them up. Traditionally, people wait until Thanksgiving is over before putting up Christmas. Remember to have fun with decorations and use it as a time to bond with those around you.

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