It's the most wonderful time of the year. The question is, when does it start?
A popular discussion topic in person, on Facebook, and in blogland this weekend has been decorating for Christmas. Some people have been polling whether it's too early to decorate, while others are happily declaring that their decorating has commenced! All around our town, folks are putting up their exterior holiday lights. However, considering the forecast is calling for snow (which in these parts can reach depths of several feet), this is a practical exercise. Nonetheless, a couple festive souls have flipped the switch, casting the glow of green and red lights onto their streets.
It all leads to the question; when is the best time to decorate for Christmas?
I'm a firm believer that if it makes you happy, go for it. Granted, this theory would be stretched if it were August. My general rule is to wait until after Remembrance Day, and then start moving things out gradually. I start with my "winter" items (snowmen, snowflakes, etc). Heading into December, I'll begin adding more Christmas specific items, with the grand finale being the reintroduction of the tree.
It's a funny thing about the tree. I used to wait until after December 15 to put it up. Mind you, I used a fresh tree, so keeping it fresh was a consideration. Last year we cut our own tree with friends. The tree cutting expedition had to accommodate several schedules, so we went a little earlier, and I found it quite pleasant to have my tree up earlier than usual.
In years past, when I was working, we had some last minute situations. I would have great intentions of having my decorating complete by December 15, but something would happen and it would get pushed back. One year in particular we had to go tree shopping quite late in the season; it's a great story (now) but you'll have to wait until December to hear it! Suffice to say, it was interesting.
I've relaxed a lot on the "rules" of Christmas. Like I said, whatever makes you happy is what's important. This year, I'm starting early and enjoying the whole process, from unpacking my treasures, to deciding where to put my favorite snowman, to sitting by the fire in the the glow of Christmas light, sipping hot chocolate and Baileys. To achieve this, I'm going to begin doing a thorough late fall cleaning this week, and when it's complete I'll start moving in my "Winter" stuff. (One of my cousins was explaining the concept of "Winter" versus "Christmas" decorating on Facebook today. I smiled, since this is a conversation I have several times throughout the festive season.)
As for the tree? This year I've got some novel ideas regarding my tree (or should I say, trees?) that I'm going to keep to myself for the time being. However, I will share that I'm aiming for earlier rather than later. Stay tuned!
So, I'm interested; when do you begin decorating for Christmas? Share in the comments!