The Unwritten Rules of Holiday Decorating

The holidays: that mystical time of the year when winter starts to turn the thermostat down, friends and family get together and share the gift of giving…and when people get absolutely furious over Christmas decorations.

Now, not everyone celebrates the holidays as the next person over, but a majority of the hubbub around the holidays is the decorating. The stringing of solid white or multicolored string lights around the gutters, inflating giant snowmen who pop in and out of vinyl gift boxes, and of course setting up the iconic Christmas tree with all of its flourishes. There’s a certain air of magic and wonder about this process, and even just seeing such decorations brings about amazement. Despite all of this, some people are just as apt to tear everything down in a hurry if one unwritten law of holiday cheer is broken: setting up decorations too early.

At some point, everyone complains about Christmas music being played in stores, or Black Friday discounts in late October; you can barely escape Halloween before you hear those sleigh bells jingling. Most people just go along with the festivities in good fun, but some people are adamant about when and how Christmas decorations should be put up.

A good rule for Christmas decorators is to put the decorations up before Christmas, of course; who would want to set up a tree on Christmas Eve? Some people, of course, want the merriment to really seep in, and therefore set decorations up before December even breaks through. The general consensus about when to put up Christmas decorations would be sometime before Christmas but after Thanksgiving. Now, this brings up an entirely different argument: when to take these decorations down.  As with putting them up, no one wants to take the tree and stockings and tinsel down the day of. Those familiar holiday humbugs could find ease in complaining about Christmas decorations still up after the new year is rung, so a good bracket to aim for would be between the day after Christmas to the end of the month.

Are these holiday decorating rules strict? Of course not–no one has really set up the rules of holiday decorating, they’re just these unwritten laws that just about everyone follows to avoid criticism. Despite this, the average Christmas holiday decorating ceremonies should ring somewhere around these points: put the decorations up sometime between Thanksgiving and December 20th, and take the decorations down sometime between December 26th to December 31st. Because who wants to hear a holiday humbug complain about too early Christmas decorations or decorations still rotting in the January air?