Deb loves Christmas so much that she is always the first person in her neighborhood to put up decorations. She has no qualms about listening to Christmas music year-round, and she praises Home Depot for putting out Christmas tree displays in early October. One year she started decorating for the upcoming Christmas before the current Christmas had even occurred. She wears Santa jammies and slippers anytime the weather dictates it. She turned her spare guest bedroom into a snowglobe, complete with fans blowing cotton through the air. Gifts are wrapped and tucked away in her closet beginning December 26. Gingerbread and pine bathroom sprays are smelled beginning in April, and even the kids’ Elf on the Shelf stunt has 275 days to it.
Does this sound like you? Well, you’re not alone. According to one study*, 1 in 145 adult Americans would prefer Christmas to be a year-round, never-ending celebration. If you’re in the vast majority of Americans, you probably are annoyed with people like Deb. The “perpetual holiday spirit” Debs of the world can draw ire from others.
So, how early is too early? When are you free to start decking the halls with boughs of holly and rocking around the Christmas tree? Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is deemed a very appropriate time to begin preparing for Christmas. The Black Friday discounts on popular Christmas gifts mean the masses have accepted this roving date as “fair game” to the Christmas season. Not everyone is on board with this date, but at the same time, no one can rightfully ridicule you for your “earliness”.
Anyone wishing to celebrate, decorate, or enjoy the holiday season in any fashion prior to this date should carefully consider the following guidelines.
- Naturally, if you live alone, you are free to do as you please on the inside of your home year-round without taking anyone else into consideration. The walls, ceilings, and floors of your home are yours to deck. Go ahead and turn up the Burl Ives! Be careful decorating the outside of your home, though. Holly and bows on apartment balconies, and colored lights on your house rafters will be shunned by neighbors.
- If you have roommates or family members, it is best to negotiate an appropriate date to start the festivities. If it is very important to you to start decorating in mid-October, perhaps the roommate would be willing to barter with you. In exchange for the early decorating, perhaps you can cover cable next month.
- If you are decorating your own small business, you’ll want to take your customer base into consideration. Annoying customers with “Holly Jolly Christmas” playing the day after Halloween can be bad for business. The obvious workaround, however, is special holiday deals. “63% off your order, because it’s 63 days until Christmas!” you tell your customers. They’ll love it!
- In some instances, the weather can dictate a start date. If you live in a snowy part of the world, you could agree each year that Christmas begins with the first measurable snowfall! If you live in the South, perhaps the first day a light jacket is required would be sufficient. Christmas doesn’t feel much like Christmas when it’s 89º and sunny, after all, regardless of the date.
- You might consider other dates as the official start to your decorating season: the day Santa sets up his workshop in your local mall, the day the hardware stores start displaying their Christmas products, or the first time you see a Christmas special on TV. “Well, you can’t complain, Bert. The Rudolph special was on last night, so if CBS thinks it’s holiday season, it’s fair game!”
- If you are hoping to decorate at work and you have your own office or cubicle, you should be free to decorate as you please. If your decor offends those nearby, you should consult HR and plead your case that it’s good for morale and skew some sales numbers to support your case.
- An alternative to beginning the Christmas season early is to simply have a silly “half Christmas” celebration on June 25. Summer Christmases tend to be accepted as a novelty, and you can soak it all in as if it were the real thing to tide you over.
- If your birthday falls on Christmas, that is a good way to justify celebrating for a longer amount of time.
- If you insist on beginning Christmas prep earlier than those around you, consider treating them to baked goods and gifts along the way. “Christ, Deb, a reindeer hat? It’s November 5!” “Here Jim, have a batch of Christmas brownies!” “I’ve misjudged you. Merry Christmas, Deb! Celebrate away.”
- Many others like the boozy part of the holidays. Holiday parties, egg nog, and brandy around a fireplace are great ways to convince others ’tis the season.
What about you? When do you think it’s fair game to bust the garland out of the attic? Let us know in the comments!
Products for the Santa in All of Us
My Hot Take:
I’m a big Christmas guy, but since moving to Texas I’ve had a very difficult time getting in any sort of holiday spirit. Something about the shorts, flip-flops, and the sun beating down on me say ’tis not the season. But up north, I am on-board with anyone who starts playing Christmas music starting the final week of November.
If you are alienating others with your early Christmas preparations, consider bribing them with gifts and baked goods.
* study not conducted