When the air gets crisp and leaves start falling, the holiday season can be felt waiting just around the corner. It’s generally agreed that October is the domain of autumn and Halloween, but once the calendar turns to November, the lines between other holidays aren’t always so clear.
When to start putting up Christmas decorations can be a bit debatable. Should you set up your tree before Thanksgiving? Only add Christmas tree decorations on Christmas Eve? How soon is too soon, and when does waiting patiently turn into just decorating at the last minute?.
To help settle the uncertainty, here’s our guide to the ideal time to decorate for Christmas.
WHY DO WE PUT UP CHRISTMAS TREES?
Putting up a Christmas tree is one of the most beloved holiday traditions. In early times, pagans placed evergreen branches decorated with fruit and candles in their homes as a symbol of hope and abundance during cold winters. By the Middle Ages, decorated trees had become fixtures in Christmas and nativity plays. This inspired people to adopt the practice in their own homes. Today, people the world over enjoy decorating both real and ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES to spread cheer and make unforgettable memories.
WHEN TO START DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS: THINGS TO CONSIDER
Ask yourself these questions before deciding when to decorate your Christmas tree.
IS YOUR TREE LIVE OR ARTIFICIAL?
A real tree can last around four weeks, so you might want to wait until the first week of December. Otherwise, you risk a carpet of dried needles before Christmas even gets there. It also takes a couple of weeks for the natural fragrance of the tree to fully infuse your space, so account for that if you want your home to “smell like Christmas”. An artificial Christmas tree, on the other hand, gives you more leeway as it looks the same regardless of timing.
DO YOU FOLLOW ANY RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS?
For Christians, Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas and is viewed as a period of spiritual reflection and preparation. It ends on Christmas Eve, at which point the official Christmas season begins. This lasts for 12 days and ends on January 6th, a religious holiday known as the Feast of Epiphany.
Within this timeline, it’s important to not take away from the significance of Advent by putting up your tree too early and jumping into Christmas celebrations. Most religious sources recommend waiting till at least the third Sunday of Advent. Looking at Christmas tree history, any day until Christmas Eve is fine to put your tree up.
WHEN ARE GUESTS COMING OVER?
If you have loved ones coming for the season, you may want to plan and have the tree decked out before they arrive. Alternatively, you might wish to wait until they are there so that you can all decorate together. Either way, this is something to consider when deciding on a timeline.
THE BEST TIME TO PUT YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE UP
Ultimately, the ideal time to put up your Christmas tree comes down to personal preference and the other factors outlined above. Most people start decorating for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving, while others choose to wait until mid-December.
Right after Thanksgiving is a great option because often, family is still gathered in one home and can decorate together. It also allows for a great transition between the two holidays. The first week of December is just as valid, as it provides some time to separate the two holidays and still leaves a whole month to have your tree and decorations on display.
Regardless of when you decide to do it, the whole family decorating the Christmas tree is a chance to make priceless holiday memories.
WHEN TO TAKE DOWN YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Christmas tradition usually places January 5 as the last day of Christmas. Meanwhile, in religious calendars, January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings. These are popular dates to take down your Christmas tree and other holiday décor. In fact, National Take Down The Christmas Tree Day is often scheduled on January 6.
Setting up the tree is not just about sprucing up your home for Christmas. It’s about creating happy memories that last long after the holidays are over. We hope this article has taken some of the guesswork and stress away from decorating your home for the holidays, so you can enjoy the festive season with the people who matter most.
SHOP ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES
For more Christmas tree decorating tips, check out these articles.
THE BEST PLACES TO PUT UP A CHRISTMAS TREE AT HOME
ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE SIZE GUIDE: HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT HEIGHT & SHAPE FOR YOUR HOME