People Agree: The Best Time for Holiday Decorating Is Right After Thanksgiving

A new survey reveals when people actually begin their holiday decorating

Christmas lights in boxes on floor
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The holidays roll around at the same time every year, and with them come the annual debates over when to decorate, how much to decorate, and how long to decorate for, among other arguments. Every household has its own traditions and preferences for when to decorate—and sometimes people within the same household even disagree over the annual putting-up of the tree and the hanging of Christmas lights.

We fully admit that there are no real rules for when you have to put up your artificial Christmas tree by or how long you’re allowed to leave your festive wreath on the front door: The holiday season is all about celebrating in the ways that make you happiest, and if that means putting the stockings out on November 1, so be it. Still, generally speaking, there are some unspoken guidelines that most people follow for their holiday decorating. Most people would agree that setting up a reindeer inflatable in your yard on September 30, for example, is a bit over-eager, and that taking down all outdoor lights the day after Christmas is a little austere.

Beyond those guidelines, though, the closer you get to peak holiday season (mid- to late-December, for Christmas fans), the louder the debate rages, and the more confusing the timing of the holiday season gets.

Fortunately for anyone wondering if Black Friday is too soon to put up the Christmas tree, though, home services site Thumbtack has crunched the numbers for its Holiday Home Hosting Survey to find out when most people really get out their holiday decorations. Thumbtack surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults on their holiday decorating preferences, and the results show that setting up for Christmas as soon as November begins is definitely an atypical choice. Read on for key findings from the survey.

Plenty of People Decorate Right After Thanksgiving

According to the survey results, 43 percent of people decorate for Christmas between Thanksgiving Day and the following Sunday. It makes sense: Many people in the U.S. have Thanksgiving off, and the weekend is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and scatter some tinsel. Forty-three percent of people agreeing that a single weekend—the weekend after Thanksgiving—is the perfect time to decorate for the holidays might a little shocking considering the constant bickering about how soon is too soon to get out the lights and all the available options (from October to just before December 25, generally), but proponents of late November decorating can rest easy knowing that plenty of other people decorating then, too.

People Are Ready for the Holidays to Start Early

If you’re starting to feel like the Christmas season begins earlier and earlier each year (and you’re not completely happy about it), prepare yourself: 41 percent of people are ready for the holidays to start early, particularly after the challenges of the last holiday season.

Decorations Can Stay up Until January (If Not Longer)

Setting up holiday decorations before December doesn’t mean people are ready to take them down early. Thumbtack’s survey found that 59 percent of people plan to keep their decorations up until the new year, enjoying all that merriness and brightness until at least January, if not longer. Not too long, though—42 percent of people want others (and presumably their own households) to take down holiday lights and outdoor decorations in early January. Interestingly, 6 percent of people believe you can leave your outdoor holiday decorations up year-round: If you’re part of the 6 percent, it may be time to start exploring year-round holiday decor ideas.

You May Need to Compromise on When the Lights Come Down

If you’re dreaming of an extended holiday season full of joy and twinkling lights in every room, make sure you and your partner are on the same page regarding when the holiday season begins and ends: The Thumbtack survey found that, while 55 percent of people find joy in their decorations and holiday lights, 46 percent say they take their decorations down earlier than they’d like to in order to please their spouse.

Surveys might reveal what a lot of people do, but come December (or even October or November), only you and your housemates can decide when to decorate. If you choose to spend all of October, November, and December each year making the most of holiday cheer and festive decor, well, ’tis the season.