Is November too early to decorate for Christmas?
- Statista reports that, in 2021, “the global Christmas decorations and lights market was estimated to be worth 6.8 billion US dollars.”
- A 2021 YouGov.com survey revealed that among “Americans who celebrate a winter holiday and decorate their homes,” 24% put up holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving.
- According to Christmas Central, the most popular Christmas decorations in 2022–according to the popularity of search terms on their site–were ornaments, garlands, and wreaths.
- Gallup.com reports that, in 2019, 93% of Americans said they celebrated Christmas.
It's never too early to celebrate Christmas--and many industries agree. With recent retail trends showing more stores starting to put out Christmas displays and decorations earlier each year, consumers get cues to start the holiday season ahead of time, with most stores going full-on Christmas by the end of Halloween. Additionally, SiriusXM radio starts streaming Christmas music on November 1, while the Hallmark Channel starts showing Christmas movies before Halloween. Some may ask why, with Christmas still nearly two months away at that point, people begin decorating for the holidays in November—well, it's for good reason.
Firstly, research has shown that Christmas decorations make people happier—and with shorter days and longer nights in the fall and winter, people should use any excuse available to be happier. Studies also show that households decorated for Christmas seem more sociable and friendly to neighbors, spreading early Christmas happiness and cheer to those around them.
Further, putting up Christmas decorations is a lot of work. If you put them up earlier, you can enjoy them longer and leave more time to spend with your family during the often busy and stressful holiday season full of social obligations and gift-buying. Getting decorating out of the way early allows one to be more present during the holiday season and celebrate the deeper meaning of Christmas.
Lastly, there are no rules about Christmas decorating. While in years past, magazines and TV shows encouraged people to wait until December to start decorating for Christmas, times are changing. Lifestyle experts are now encouraging people to decorate whenever they want—and, most importantly, whenever will make them happy.
Decorating for Christmas early in November is problematic for many reasons and actually goes against tradition. Museum curator Hannah Fleming explains that, in times past, Christmas trees specifically would go up 'no earlier than the 22nd or 23rd [of] December, and quite often on Christmas Eve.' Doing otherwise, say experts, was thought to 'bring bad luck.'
Maybe previous generations were onto something, as from a practical standpoint, putting up a Christmas tree too early makes little sense. Live trees also only last about five weeks, so putting one up in November may mean it will die by Christmas. Not to mention that both live and fake trees are potential fire hazards.
Aside from putting up a tree too early, embracing Christmas prematurely detracts from celebrating Thanksgiving, a holiday that has deep cultural significance and deserves to be marked appropriately.
Further, Christmas is a holiday that means more than opening presents, eating a big meal, or hanging up festive decor. The true meaning of Christmas is 'the celebration of the Savior, Jesus Christ,' and focusing on such trivial things--especially too early--takes away from that central spiritual point.
Another thing to consider is that one may alienate friends of differing faiths for a longer period if putting up Christmas decorations prematurely. Many people do not celebrate Christmas, such as those of the Jewish faith, and they may feel uncomfortable surrounded by Christmas decorations in November. There are also people of all cultural backgrounds and belief systems who find the holiday depressing and may not want constant reminders of it.
When taking tradition, spiritual reverence, and practicality into consideration, the best time to decorate for Christmas is in December.