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Survey | When Is It ‘Too Early’ for Christmas Decorations?


House with Christmas lights | Image by Shutterstock

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Americans have a variety of opinions on when it is the best time to hang up Christmas decorations, according to a recent survey.

House Method, a media site dedicated to research on all things house-related, conducted the survey in October, asking 3,939 homeowners two questions: “What’s the earliest day you should display Christmas Lights?” and “When do you plan to hang up your Christmas Lights?”

What is the earliest day you should display Christmas lights?

Although a majority of respondents — 47% — cited the month of November as the earliest appropriate time to put up lights, 36% chose various dates in December, with December 1 garnering the most votes –16% — when given the option of specific dates. Another 5% chose the first week of December, 4% voted for the second week of December, 8% picked the week before Christmas, and 3% selected Christmas Day.

For those who favored November, the most popular choice — 12% — was “before Thanksgiving.” Another 30% of voters who chose November dates were evenly divided between the options of November 1, Black Friday, and “after Black Friday.” Very few respondents — 2% — felt that Thanksgiving Day was a good time to put up lights, and 3% chose the first week of November.

Of the remaining 13% of respondents, 4% said it is okay to leave lights up all year round, 6% felt that October was the earliest acceptable month to display them, and the remaining 3% were evenly split between the choices of September, Spring, and Summer.

When viewing respondents’ answers sorted by their state of residence, it appears that 20 states, including Texas and neighboring Oklahoma and Arkansas, selected the first day of December as the earliest acceptable date to display lights. Another 28 states, including New Mexico to the west and Louisiana to the east, selected various dates in November.

Georgia was the only state that opted for October, while Alaska was the only state that chose the first week of December. There did not seem to be a clearly discernible pattern of answers according to geographic location.

It is unclear whether the sampling included equal numbers of respondents per state or whether the number of respondents was weighted according to the state’s population.

When do you plan to hang up your Christmas Lights?

According to the survey, respondents are not necessarily jumping up at the first appropriate opportunity to display their Christmas lights.

A majority of respondents — 45% — said they would wait until December to display lights, while 42% said they would tackle the job in November. The most popular option chosen, garnering 14% of the vote, was “November before Thanksgiving,” with December 1 running a close second at 13%.

For those bucking the trend, 3% of the respondents said they would put up lights on Christmas Day, 4% said they leave their lights up all year long, and 5% said they put up lights in October. The remaining 3% of votes were split equally between September, Spring, and Summer.

When broken down by state, residents of 25 states chose dates in December, and 24 selected dates in November to put up their lights. Respondents from Delaware, getting the jump on the rest of the country, chose to put up lights in October.

Current Dallas resident Owen Sloan does not decorate by the calendar but instead has different criteria for when to put out the holiday decor. He told The Dallas Express that people should start decorating “the first day you have to put on a winter coat.”

Indeed, what’s the point of waiting if it already feels festive once the temperature drops?

When given the options from the survey, he said November, at some point before Thanksgiving, is the earliest people should start decorating for Christmas.

Originally from Maryland, Sloan disagrees with both his resident states, believing that decor can be set up earlier than December and even earlier than Thanksgiving.

With this divergence of opinion, it seems clear that this debate is far from over.

It even recently came up among DFW residents on the popular Nextdoor app.

Janice Joe wrote on the message board that decor can appropriately come out “the day after Thanksgiving.”

Fellow app user Lisa Brown chimed in, “Well, we have been working on ours all month, so it depends on how long it takes to get it all done!” She added laughingly, “I know my husband would love to leave them up year-round, but the squirrels like to eat the wires.”

Another user, Alex Cruz, quipped, “It can never be early if you never take them down.”

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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