How Long to Wait to Decorate

I’m slightly at war with myself. Well, that’s kind of a constant state for me for lots of reasons, but there’s a particular reason right now why I’m getting anxious.

I want to start decorating my apartment for Christmas, but I know it’s still ridiculously early for that!

I know, it’s silly to be at war with myself over something so trivial in the grand scale of things. But there it is.

I hate that the Christmas season gets longer and starts earlier every year. I don’t like the commercialism and the rampant consumerism behind it, and as much as I like to get presents, I feel badly that corporations are running everything and lots of people are forced to work on Christmas instead of spending the holiday with their families.

But at the same time, I love Christmas lights! I love decorating, drinking eggnog, and getting into the holiday spirit, and my family is finally coming to California to visit me (their first time since I moved here), so I’m excited to see them. That is, until they drive me nuts after about 20 minutes.

Leeloo: I can has Christmas Tree?

I can has Christmas Tree?

Truth be told, I leave some Christmas lights up all year round, because I love them. It’s mood lighting, and it’s beautiful. I don’t always plug them in, because it is slightly odd to turn on Christmas lights when it’s 90 degrees out and still light at 8 p.m. I also think summer nighttime is a different kind of dark than winter nighttime. Maybe it’s just because it gets dark earlier, but winter night feels darker, thicker, than summer night. Plus there’s that beautiful, crisp smell of winter in the air. If we’re lucky.

Yeah, the weather here really doesn’t help, either way. It’s so warm and sunny that it doesn’t feel like November and time flies so quickly that I can’t keep up anyway. But at the same time, because it’s still warm and it barely even rains, much less snows, decorations and daylight saving time are the only indications that it’s that time of year. That’s probably also why the soft rock radio station will go into their non-stop Christmas music starting tomorrow. In the middle of November.

In that case, maybe it’s not too early. If the radio station can do it, why not me? Oh, I know, I don’t have advertisers paying me to show my holiday spirit early. Ah well.

Still, despite the string of lights I have up year round, I do a lot more for the holidays. We put up a tree, and I also try to have a menorah (I’m technically both Jewish and Catholic, or neither), and I put more lights up around the house. Plus garland and stockings, and some little tchotchkes on the mantle, like a nutcracker, candles, and ballerina nesting dolls. Growing up as a ballet dancer, of course The Nutcracker has to represent in my house.

I’m trying to hold out until at least Thanksgiving—but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. It won’t surprise me if I end up at our storage unit this weekend to collect my decorations. I may not put them up right away, but it’ll be a comfort, if a little messy, even having them at the ready.

How about you? Are you anxious to start decorating, or are you trying to put it off for as long as possible? Or do you not bother with decorations in the first place?

6 thoughts on “How Long to Wait to Decorate

  1. I struggle with this too. I cannot believe some people have even put up their trees in their homes already (I saw a few on a drive around town). Here in Canada some people believe that you should wait to put up the decorations until after Remembrance Day (Nov 11). But I say do what makes you happy. I used to have a string of lights up all year in my university res room and then in the old house we used to live in. It made me happy.

    Popping in from #NaBloPoMo.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Brandy.
      Wow, having the tree up already does seem very early, but I absolutely agree with you: Do what makes you happy. 🙂

  2. I always love your complete and total love of Christmas! It is one of your truly best qualities, to make an event out of anything, and anything an event!

    I don’t wrestle with this as much. Luis and I will be spending our twenty-fourth Christmas/Yule together and not seeing anyone this year, which is very weird. But Ma is gone and Ray goes to see his family for the holidays. You’re in California. I guess it just isn’t what it used to be that way, but we have our traditions and love of the holiday, too. So we do this: in the first or second week of December, we bundle up (well, I bundle up; I dislike the cold intensely) and go to a farm to select a perfect and huge Yule tree. We have a standard eight-foot ceiling in the living room, and usually cram an 8-foot tree in the corner. Someday I think I may do this in the back of the house, where we have a cathedral ceiling and put in a twenty-foot tree! Someday. A live one might be a wee too heavy, however.

    We decorate for Christmas… correction, I decorate for Christmas/Yule – the day after Thanksgiving. Well, it used to be the day after Thanksgiving, because we would go out for Thanksgiving. I never care for turkey, however, so for several years I rode on the ambulance for Thanksgiving (much more satisfying!) and decorated the next day. Now, though, being retired, I decorate on Thanksgiving night. My idea of decorating is to get the millions of strings of LED Christmas lights and using suction cups with hangers, put the lights up in every single window. It is pretty and pleasant, but not damaging to the house. I have a piece for our front door. I don’t put anything in our yard.

    The outlaw who lives downstairs asked to put a crèche in the front yard. The answer is no. He can do what he likes in his room, but I am not even slightly Christian but full-on Celtic Wiccan and I celebrate Yule, the original holiday. (Except for having lit candles on the Yule Tree. Fire and fir – BBBRRRR!) If Luis (my Luis) wanted a crèche, I would really hate it, but he’s my husband, and we do things for those we love that would ordinarily make us crazy! I’m delighted to say he has never wanted a crèche anywhere!

    As to your dilemma…let me put it this way. Is 12 November really all that ridiculous to put up decorations that you love that much? I say nay. And besides, we have some new neighbours down the road who truly crossed the {firing} line and put up Christmas lights in October. Don’t laugh. When I say October, I mean, early October. That was way too much and so out of place. So don’t knock 12 November!

    Besides, I know how much you love the lights! I say do what’s right for you!

    • Early October is way too early. I’m not that bad…yet. 🙂
      I haven’t actually done it yet; I’ve been a little busy, I think. But I probably will next weekend, Thanksgiving weekend. That’s about right.

  3. […] I used to shop on Black Friday with my mom. I’m not sure she liked it, because she hates dealing with the crowds and the parking. But she was happy to take me. It’s a fun way to spend some time with Mom (and frankly, her wallet), and there were often things I needed. Plus, I was usually visiting from out of town, so we had limited days to choose from to shop. The day after Thanksgiving makes perfect sense as a day to shop, because it’s a weekday but still a holiday, and I was with family. And with Thanksgiving, the last holiday before Christmas, now done, we can feel free to start prepping for Christmas without it feeling too early. […]

  4. […] start cleaning my house and decorating for Christmas (no, I haven’t done it yet). Not only do I love decorating and stringing up lights, but I’m excited to have my parents visit, finally. It’s their […]

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