How early is too early?

Felicity Fulton, Staff Writer

It’s October. The end of the year is quickly approaching, and so are the slew of holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, all with fans waiting in the wings to emerge. 

Uber fans of holidays such as Halloween and Christmas take their decorating very seriously, and have strict dates as to when certain decor can go up. Halloween decorations typically go up at the start of October, or maybe mid-September if it can blend in with fall decor. 

People tend to be more divided, however, the sooner Christmas decorations go up. So that begs the question: When is it acceptable to put up Christmas decorations? November 1? Black Friday? July? Everybody seems to have a different opinion on the matter.

After I conducted a short survey on my Instagram story, which includes responses from both Linfield and my hometown of Vancouver, Wash., the majority of responses fell somewhere in the range of “the day after Thanksgiving,” which seems to be a common consensus among articles online. But if it was that simple, this article wouldn’t have to exist, would it? 

For instance, Tara Baker, a triple major Linfield senior studying Secondary Education, Vocal Music, and Literature, has very strong opinions about the holiday and decorations. The main reason being that her birthday falls on it.

“I fucking hate Christmas,” Baker responded. “Having a Christmas birthday is the worst thing you can do to a child.” She also cemented that the myth of double presents is just that: a myth. When asked about Christmas decor, she placed acceptability at one ortwo weeks before Christmas.

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, Courtney Hassell, a third-year studio art major, said, “I fucking love Christmas. It brings me serotonin. I don’t connect it to a religion anymore, I just think of it as happiness.” 

Both Hassell and Baker were very passionate about their opinions. Hassell said that she finds it acceptable to decorate July 1. Big-box stores clearly agree with her, with Christmas decor just two aisles over from back-to-school supplies. 

While both are valid responses, Hassell may be on to something. Recent studies that have surfaced claim that decorating earlier makes people less stressed and happier, as the sight of Christmas decorations brings many back to a simpler time. 

An article by the American Christmas Tree Association covers this exact topic, with psychological evidence to back up their claims. 

“Christmas decorations stir up feelings of pure joy and can literally modify some happy hormones in your body. It create[s] that neurological shift that can produce happiness,” said psychologist Deborah Serani. “Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone.’” 

In the end, it’s really up to the person as to when they decide to indulge in sparkly lights and vibrant Christmas trees. There’s no one true time frame as to when Christmas decorations must go up, although some Grinches will always say it’s too early unless it’s December 24. 

Of course, there will always be a great divide on the matter, but don’t let it discourage you from decorating whenever you feel like it. If someone tells you it’s too early, just bring up the article mentioned earlier. Nobody can argue with the American Christmas Tree Association on Christmas matters, can they? 

I personally will be putting up decorations before I go to bed on October 31. What about you? When do you think it’s acceptable to decorate for Christmas? Do you decorate at all? Christmas cookies for thought.