When to Decorate for Christmas

From holiday lights and Christmas decor to hanging family Christmas cards, you can decorate on time for the holidays with just a few simple tips. Since Thanksgiving dinner and family get-togethers are bound to keep your household busy, you can decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. This is the most popular time to hang Christmas decorations, especially outside. We’ve provided quick tips and tricks below on when to decorate for Christmas this holiday season.

Clear Christmas ornaments hanging

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights can be hung as early as the second or third week of November. There’s no set rule on Christmas lights but you should wait until after Halloween to hang any lights. After Halloween passes, you can hang your lights or wait for the weekend after Thanksgiving if you’re looking to save money on your electricity bill. Christmas lights are nostalgic and a staple of the holiday season in general so you can get away with hanging your lights a bit earlier than usual.

Christmas Wreaths

While you can hang your wreath after Thanksgiving, holiday wreaths are a general symbol of Fall and Winter. Depending on your wreath style, you can hang your wreath on your front door before Thanksgiving if you’d like to celebrate the Fall season. For example, if your wreath is simple and includes signature fall colors, you can hang your wreath anytime after Halloween. However, you’ll want to wait until after Thanksgiving to hang a Christmas themed wreath that has red and green ornaments and ribbons.

Christmas Tree

Fresh trees usually last for 4 weeks so you’ll want to put your Christmas tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Putting up your Christmas tree too early may dry out your tree before Christmas day comes around. Remember to put up your tree in a cool spot since heat can make your pine tree dry out faster. If you’re putting up a fake Christmas tree, you have some flexibility and can put up your tree anytime in November if you choose. However, tradition calls for putting your Christmas tree up the day after or weekend of Thanksgiving.

Once you have your tree up, you can add custom Christmas ornaments to make your tree feel right at home. Explore the Christmas Store at Shutterfly for a variety of ornaments to prep for the holidays.

holiday room with fall decor

Santa Decor

Since Santa Clause decor is specific to Christmas, you should wait until the weekend of Thanksgiving to set out your Santa gear. While Santa themed decor can spread holiday cheer, you’ll want to avoid spreading it too early. If you plan on using inflatable Santa decorations on your lawn, you should also wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to set them out. You’ll save money on your electricity bill and be right on time with your neighbors.

Mantel Decor

Decorating your mantel for Christmas is another popular item on everyone’s Christmas checklist. From displaying your personalized Christmas cards to adding custom Christmas stockings, you’ll want to make your mantel a focal point in your Christmas decor line-up. If you’re decorating your mantel for Thanksgiving, you can swap out mantel decor right after Thanksgiving passes. If you’re not decorating your mantel for Thanksgiving, you can decorate your mantel with Christmas decor anytime in November or early December. Since this is an interior item on your Christmas decoration list, there’s no hard rule on when to put up Christmas mantel decor.

beaitiful red photo christmas card with family

Dining Room Table

You should decorate your dining room table with your favorite Christmas items right after Thanksgiving passes. From Christmas candles and holiday glassware to Christmas figurines, you can create a picture perfect tablescape for Christmas once the fall elements of Thanksgiving come to a close.

No matter which Christmas decoration ideas you have, the ideal time to decorate for Christmas is the weekend of Thanksgiving. If you’re still wondering how early is too early, stick to the rule that putting up Christmas decorations anytime before Halloween is too early. If you’re preparing for fall before Christmas, you can reference our guide on when to put up fall decor this season to stay on track.