Is September too early to decorate for Halloween?
- Halloween is a largely non-religious holiday observed on October 31st that has roots in the Celtic Samhain festival, where “people set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day.”
- A National Retail Federation survey revealed that Americans’ “total spending on decorations” for Halloween is expected to reach $3.9 billion in 2023.
- According to analysis from LombardoHomes.com, pumpkins and skeletons are the most popular Halloween decor throughout the fifty states.
- Regardless of when people begin decorating for Halloween, a 2023 Angi survey found that “60.2% of respondents remove their decorations within one week of Halloween.”
It’s not uncommon for Halloween merchandise to appear in stores before October, so why wait to put up decorations? September is a great time to start decorating for the spookiest of holidays. Depending on where one lives geographically, the end of September might have a crisp fall chill to it, giving the feeling that Halloween is right around the corner. And those living in areas where the weather hasn’t cooled off yet don’t have to miss out on the fun; decorations that won’t get damaged in the sun, like plastic pumpkins or inflatable decorations, can be used.
Ultimately, deciding when to decorate is a matter of personal choice. And according to a YouGov survey, 5% of voters prefer to decorate for Halloween before Labor Day, and 16% said they like to start between Labor Day and September 30th. Putting up decorations early can help reduce the stress and pressure of decorating all at once since it can be done gradually. This benefits people with busy schedules or those who might skip putting out decorations because time slipped by. Decorating early also gives more time for crafting and a head start on décor shopping because certain stores sell out of seasonal items fast.
For those not ready to commit fully to Halloween, subtle decorations like dish towels, pumpkin-scented candles, or a tiny pumpkin on the coffee table can do the trick. Decorating inside the house first can be less stressful since neighbors can’t see inside--something that also works for people living in communities with particular decorating rules. Life is too short not to enjoy things that bring happiness. So, if Halloween is one of those things, don’t worry and embrace the holiday early.
The dog days of summer have barely been put to rest when September begins. In most parts of the country, the new school year has just begun; football season is just starting, and there are plenty of other things to pay attention to instead of focusing on Halloween, an event that remains weeks away.
There is plenty of time to decorate for Halloween, but September isn't appropriate to start primarily because it still features warm weather in many parts of the country. The cooler, crisper autumn days don't really begin in earnest until mid-October. Celebrating too early with decorations seems off-season when the weather is still warm. Further, warmer weather is not kind to pumpkins. Those used for jack-o-lanterns in September--or even early October--could be rotten by October 31.
Halloween traditionally coincides not only with the cooling off of temperatures but also with leaves that have started to change colors and the scents of autumn beginning to fill the air. These sensorial markers indicate an appropriate time to start Halloween decorating.
Additionally, because some Halloween decorations are ghoulish, scary, or just plain loud, neighbors can easily take offense. There is no need to prolong their agony.
Finally, in the interest of higher profit margins, retailers have placed Halloween decor for sale well before the actual holiday--even as early as July. People shouldn't confuse decorating cues with business strategy.
In our modern age, where speed and 'getting ahead' are prized, there's something to be said for doing things at the right time and not before. Decorating for Halloween is one of them.