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Is November too early for Christmas decorations?

There are always contentious opinions over Christmas decorations and when they should go up. We asked the public when they thought about this.

Over 1 in 10* (11%) told us that they put their decorations up in November. But 2 in 5 (42%) think November is too early to put up Christmas decorations.

So, when is the right time to put them up? Let's take a look.

Christmas decorations


When should you put your Christmas decorations up?

Traditionally, Christmas trees and decorations go up on the first day of Advent, which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day

But some people might wait until Christmas Eve, considering it to be bad luck to put them up any earlier or later

And almost half (47%) of those we spoke to said they put their decorations between 1 and 10 December. 

For those who put their decorations up in December, over 2 in 5 (41%) said they do this because it’s tradition. And almost 2 in 3 (62%) said they feel that December is when Christmas season officially starts.

Over half (51%) said they put their indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations up at the same time. And nearly 7 in 10 (68%) say they put their indoor decorations up before they work on making the outside festive.

But shops and TV adverts promote the festive season while we’re still enjoying summer, so it can be difficult to resist getting involved sooner than you'd planned

And many cities and towns across the UK have their official Christmas lights switch-on ceremonies in early November.

If you’re a Christmas enthusiast, you’re not alone this year. Our research revealed that over half (56%) put their decorations up early so they have plenty of time to enjoy them. And a third (33%) said it saves them doing it in December when life becomes increasingly hectic.

According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, you should buy a real tree from the beginning of December – if it’s well looked after, it should last more than 4 weeks.


Why Christmas decorating is good for your mental health

Before the Grinches start coming for you, it’s worth learning that decking the halls early could be good for your mental health.

Over half (55%) of the people we surveyed said that putting up decorations lifts their spirits and improves their wellbeing.

Psychologist Deborah Serani says that decorating your home for Christmas early could “create that neurological shift that can produce happiness”.

She explains:

“Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel good hormone.”

The past couple of years have been difficult for everyone. By getting excited about Christmas and having something to look forward to gives people that positive push through difficult times.

Dr Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, says:

“Christmas activities like decorating the house or the tree are happy (and often shared) experiences that provide a temporary break from the reality of what’s happening in the world right now.”


Avoid decorating mishaps

Be careful – if you've got as many as

60,000 LED bulbs to light up, you’ll soon be left in the dark if something goes wrong.

Anyone who's watchedthe film Christmas Vacation knows about the perils of being overzealous with your decorating, including:

  • Putting your foot through the attic when getting the decoration boxes down
  • Damage to your walls and windows when putting up the Christmas tree
  • Damage to your decorations from irritated pets
  • Increased risk of fire from Christmas lights

Our home insurance expert Jessica Willock, says:

"The party season brings with it an increased risk of accidents in the home, with decorations sometimes providing more than just a little extra sparkle.

"Remember to decorate with care to reduce chances of an accident. And don't overload electrical sockets when using Christmas fairy lights, as this could be a fire risk."

You can take out accidental damage insurance for buildings and your contents, which could prove to be well worth it if you have a Christmas decorations mishap.

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When do Christmas decorations come down?

The date when you should take down your Christmas decorations is much less controversial. According to tradition, your Christmas tree and decorations should be taken down by 6 January.

This date is known as the Epiphany. Some people believe leaving it longer than this could cause bad luck.

Almost 2 in 5 (39%) take their decorations down on this day, with nearly a quarter (24%) taking them down at the beginning of January. 

But one in 20 (5%) risk bad luck throughout the year by taking their decorations down in the middle of January.

And we all have that neighbour who decides to leave their outdoor lights set up all year round.

*Figures taken from omnibus research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Confused.com. This was a nationally representative poll of 2,000 UK adults that celebrate Christmas and decorate their home. The research was conducted between 10/11/2021 and 16/11/2021.