Was I the only person who noticed certain retail stores breaking out Christmas decorations before the kids went back to school in August? I remember that it used to be that the school/fall clothes and accessories would hit stores mid-summer, and stay there till the Halloween costumes came out. After that, the Thanksgiving tablecloths, napkins and paper turkey centerpieces would be everywhere. And it wasn’t until Black Friday that stores would break out the big guns and put out all the Christmas decorations and turn on the Christmas music.
Nowadays, no one seems to be paying attention to the highly-regarded scheduling anymore. Halloween costumes are now available Labor Day weekend, and in certain stores, Thanksgiving is skipped altogether and Christmas decorations are brought out well before Halloween.
I have always been one of those folks who loves decorating my house for Christmas. It always is a two-week process to get everything out and set up exactly the way we want it, and that’s just the inside decorations. And if I’m going to go to that much trouble, I want to take the time to enjoy it.
I have never understood the folks who wait until December 24th to get out their tree. Now granted, if you are only putting up a tree, and a live one at that, it makes sense to wait till closer to the big day, to reduce the risk of a house fire. I, on the other hand, have had an artificial tree for years, thanks to the claws-intact cat population in my home. Because we have an artificial tree, we can put it up anytime we want. And I am not ashamed to admit that there have been many years when I answered the door to give out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters, from inside a house fully decorated for Christmas with the exception of anything visible from the front door! Our jack-o-lantern would be lit up on the front porch while our Christmas tree lights could be seen through the windows in the back of our house.
I have friends who put up multiple trees and who have space to simply pick them up and store them in their basement until it’s time to bring them out the next year. We don’t have that luxury in our house, so we put our tree up and decorate it every year. It did, however, cut down on the Decorating Day strife immensely when we purchased a tree that was pre-lit and we no longer had to deal with untangling the Christmas lights.
I should point out too, that our tree and decorations are always, without fail, taken down before New Years Eve, thanks to both mine and my husband’s grandmothers instilling some old wives tale in us that it was bad luck to have these things up on New Years Day. That and the Don’t Make Peanut Brittle Before Halloween rules seem to be the two which have stuck with me more than any others my mom tried to teach me.
So back to the question—how early is too early for Christmas decorations? The answer is quite simple. Put up your decorations whenever it makes you happy. Or leave them up all year long if you want. But be prepared for the ribbing you might get if you have a summertime BBQ in the middle of your Christmas inflatables on your lawn. Just enjoy the traditions that you have established regarding your holiday celebrations and never forget that by doing so, you are making memories for your own kids.