Should you put up Christmas decorations before or after Thanksgiving? | Pages Da

Some Christmas superfans start decorating before Halloween. Others start the next day. The staunch Thanksgiving supporters are firmly in the “no Christmas decorations go up until after Thanksgiving” camp.

My own family is very divided on the issue, so if you want to know where yours stands, now is the time to ask.

Why you should put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving

I am firmly in the process of putting up Christmas decorations for the Thanksgiving group. It’s so much work to get it all out, so why not keep it up a little longer? It makes the holiday season feel like it lasts longer.

My older sister and I are the only ones in my immediate family who think it should definitely go up before Thanksgiving.

  • “Definitely put them up before. Then you can enjoy them all Christmas long,” said Ashley Llewellyn, my older sister.
  • “I don’t care, but it should be near Thanksgiving and not right after Halloween,” said Todd Llewellyn, my brother-in-law.

Putting up Christmas decorations earlier and earlier seems to be the trend in modern times.

“People get excited [for Christmas] earlier and earlier,” Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson told “And we shouldn’t hold back anyone’s excitement for the holidays because it’s a moment to celebrate friends and family and spend quality time together.”

One reason Woman’s Day writer Yvette Manes argues for putting up your Christmas tree early is that she believes it helps combat seasonal sadness as the days darken at the end of summer.

“It hurts less to come home from work after sunset when the house is lit by twinkling lights,” Manes wrote.

Why you should wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmas decorations

My dad, mom, brother-in-law and little sister say Thanksgiving deserves its time to shine.

  • “You can’t celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Scott Gambles, my dad.
  • “I like to just focus on Thanksgiving first,” said Mary Gambles, my mother.
  • “I think you should make time for every vacation,” said Cassie Gambles, my younger sister.

YouGov surveyed 3,000 adults who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa and found that 24% of respondents decorate before Thanksgiving, 25% put up decorations the day after Thanksgiving, and 24% put them up in the days after Thanksgiving.

Tradition says that you should technically wait until the first day of Advent, which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas, to decorate.

What studies say about celebrating Christmas

Regardless of when you think the decorations should go up, a study by The BMJ says that celebrating Christmas has “significantly higher activation in people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations.”

Another study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology says that people shown pictures of a highly decorated home saw the people who lived there as “more open,” “friendly,” and “lived in.”

Marriage and family therapist Cynthia Cerrato told the LA Times that she finds Christmas decorations calming and peaceful.

“For me, it’s very nostalgic. And it’s very much a connection to my childhood, she tells the LA Times. “We associate certain smells with certain past times… [for example,] the smell of cinnamon is something that is very calming to me.”


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