The Perfect Time to Put Up Your Christmas Tree, Science Weighs In

Gillian Sisley

When is the definitive time to start decorating for Christmas?

Among the many exciting parts of preparing for the Christmas holiday season, one, in particular, seems to really get people into that good ol’ festive mood—decorating. And of all the decorations, one of the absolute favorites is the Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree is the ultimate symbol of the holiday season, and can mean a lot of different things to people. Some choose decorative ornaments for a planned, aesthetic look. Others choose a sentimental tree that’s covered in ornaments with special meaning.

With this in mind, many will argue as to when a person should put their Christmas decorations up, whether it’s for the sake of personal preference, or for what makes sense in a person’s schedule. But what is the absolute best time to put up your Christmas tree, according to science?

When is the definitive time to start decorating for Christmas?

A recent survey was conducted by Home Depot and Wakefield research of over 1,000 Americans to find the answer to this very question. The poll found that about 55% of respondents start putting up their holiday decorations before Thanksgiving.

Though ‘tradition’ would state that Americans aren’t meant to put their Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, the day after is considered acceptable. However, over the years it’s become more and more common for people to put their decorations up earlier than that.

Studies have shown that holiday decorations increase people’s happiness and seratonin levels, making them happier overall while the festive cheer is up and displayed. With this theory in mind, the sooner a person puts their decorations up, the longer they get to enjoy the benefits of the holiday spirit.

Corporate greed, or legitimate mental health booster?

It’s believed that one of the biggest reasons decorating has started happening earlier over the years is because the retail industry makes a push sooner in the year to increase their bottom line during the holiday season. This reality, combined with the fact that retail can move so much faster with same-day shipping.

The survey also showed that 79% of Americans felt that putting up their Christmas decorations ‘gets them into the holiday spirit’. Many cite the reasons as being the sheer beauty of Christmas decorations, while others have a strong link of ‘childhood nostalgia’ when it comes to the holidays.

Ultimately, experts agree that individuals should make a personal choice for when they should put their decorations up. If it makes someone happier, they should decorate as early as they like. Putting decorations up before Thanksgiving can allow individuals to extend and enhance their overall experience of the holidays.

What do you think? Should Christmas decorations go up after Thanksgiving, so as to not overshadow one holiday over the other? Or should people put their decorations up as early as they like, so that they can get the full benefits of the festive spirit?

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