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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 more than a third (36%) think November is too early to put up Christmas decorations.  So, when is the right time to put them up?

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. Over a fifth (22%) of those we spoke to said they put their decorations up between 1 and 10 December. 

For those who put their decorations up in December, over half  (52%) said they feel that December is when the Christmas season officially starts. And more than 1 in 5 (24%) said they do this because it’s tradition.

More than 2 in 5 (41%) say they put their indoor decorations up before they work on making the outside festive. A third (33%) said they don’t put up outdoor decorations at all. 

The price of energy has increased drastically over the last year, so people might change their Christmas habits as a result. Over 1 in 5 (26%) said they’d be stricter with their Christmas spending this year due to the cost of living. This could explain why people aren't going for outdoor Christmas lights this year.  

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 more than a third (35%) put their decorations up early so they have plenty of time to enjoy them. And almost 2 in 5 (37%) said it saves them doing it in December when life becomes increasingly hectic. 

Some people like to bounce from one style of decoration to another. Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) said they like to get festive as soon as Halloween is over.

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. 

 

How do I avoid decorating mishaps?

Be careful – if you've got as many as 60,000 LED bulbs to light up, you could be left in the dark if something goes wrong.

And there are perils if you're planning on creating a mini Santa's grotto 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 get 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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Should I take extra security measures at Christmas?

The combination of darker nights, expensive gifts and party season means that criminals have the opportunity and motive to break into your home at Christmas. 

In fact, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) believe that thieves will target homes for theft because of the darker evenings. Another 1 in 4 (23%) believe this is because people are spending more time out of the house.

A quarter (25%) of people we asked think thieves are more likely to target homes for theft at Christmas because there are more presents at home. And a third (33%) don’t keep their Christmas gifts under the tree because they’re conscious of attracting opportunist thieves. 

To combat this, people are taking extra precautions by making sure their trees and gifts aren’t visible. More than 1 in 5 (28%) said they close their blinds or curtains so thieves can’t see in. And almost 1 in 6 (16%) said they put their trees in the far corner of the room, away from the window. 

As well as positioning your tree away from the window, it could be worth investing in extra home security measures.  

Why Christmas decorating is good for your mental health

The past few 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.

More than 2 in 5 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.”

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.”

 

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 half (49%) take their decorations down on this day. But 1 in 10 (10%) take them down in the middle of January. 

It really doesn't matter when you take your decorations down or when you put them up for that matter. Do whatever makes you happy - Santa won't judge you.

*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 2 November  and 7 November 2022.