Decoration debate: The timeliness of holiday decor

design: Makenna Shrager

Finally, it’s Christmas time. The neighbors are pumped to put up their Christmas decorations; they spend a warm Saturday evening putting up lights in the bright, orange trees and putting an inflatable Frosty the Snowman in the dark green grass.

Decorations are a big part of the holidays. For one, they look awesome. All the beautiful lights, cool yard decorations and trees are a sight to see. But one of their biggest roles is getting everyone who sees them into the Christmas spirit. Now with that comes a big dilemma: when is it too early to put up these decorations?

The earliest that people should be putting up their winter and Christmas decorations is right around a week before Thanksgiving. It is the “sweet spot”; not too far away from Christmas, and it is just about the time when people start getting into the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving time is not just about leaves, turkey and pumpkins. This is when the weather really starts to get cold. Leaves start to fall off the trees, or are just completely gone. It might have even started to snow by then. What’s more “holiday season” than snow and dead trees?

Even if it hasn’t snowed by that time of the year, it is still important to take into consideration that there doesn’t need to be snow to generate holiday spirit. Lights, signs and garland don’t need snow to look good. In fact, these can also be associated with the Thanksgiving holiday as well, not just Christmas.

Another important reason why Christmas decorations should be put up then, is because Christmas decorations are linked to an increase in happiness and joy. According to, winter and Christmas decorations often spark strong feelings of happiness, excitement and memories of their childhood in those who see them. The start of winter can be a gloomy time for some, so these decorations can really help boost their mood.

Yet, people might say, “if decorations make people happy, why can’t they be put up earlier?” Well, if they are put up too early, they are really drowning out the other holidays and seasons to celebrate. If people put them up right after Halloween, there’s no time to celebrate the fall season.

Putting them up about a week before Thanksgiving gives people time to embrace the true feeling of fall: leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows and so much more, while still getting enough time to get into the holiday spirit. It also makes sure there’s no break between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Similarly, putting up winter decorations too early just flat out looks weird. In order for them to actually look good, it has to actually look like winter. Someone can’t be putting up Christmas decorations while people still have their pumpkins and scarecrows out, or while there’s still leaves on trees.

Now, when there’s a certain time to put up decorations, there’s got to be a time to take them down.  For this, there are separate times when each type of decoration should be taken down.

First, there are the Santa Claus and Rudolph decorations. These should be taken down as soon as possible after Christmas. The latest they should be taken down is New Years’ Day. And for the other decorations like lights, snowmen and garland, these can stay up all the way to the end of January. These are not completely connected to Christmas; these are more of the winter decorations.

While there are so many different times to put up decorations, always remember that there is only one right time. If they’re put up any earlier, or any later, there might be a very familiar name on Santa’s naughty list.