This Is the Absolute Best Time to Put Up Christmas Decorations

Inside: Is decking the halls stressing you out? Here’s the easiest way to decide when to decorate for Christmas.

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

Every year, the great debate begins. When to put up the Christmas decorations.

People have decided opinions about when to start decorating for the holidays. Too early and you’re labeled a fanatic. Too late and you have less Christmas spirit than Scrooge.

But how soon is too soon? And, how late is too late?

Usually, I ponder this question when munching on leftover Halloween candy.

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

See I never stay in my own home for Thanksgiving. That means no day after Thanksgiving holiday decorating.

And by the time I return home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I feel like I’ve lost precious holiday decorating time.

But that pile of laundry won’t clean itself no matter how long I stare at it with Matilda eyes. And if I drag the Christmas tree from the garage that evening, we all know that box will sit unopened in the hall for at least a few days.

So, do I wait until the following weekend to start decorating? Turning Christmas decorating into a weekend project makes sense. But then I’ll lose an entire week of enjoying my Christmas decorations.

Gah. Do I deck the halls before I leave for Thanksgiving?

When to decorate for Christmas has suddenly turned more stressful than Black Friday shopping.

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

Where Do You Fit on the Jolly Scale? Here Are The Different Types of Christmas Decorators

Everyone has an opinion about the ultimate time to decorate for Christmas. And it runs the whole spectrum.

From the-wreath-is-on-the-door-before-the-pumpkins-even-go-bad to does-a-red-coffee-mug-count-as-Christmas-cheer?

If you ask people when they decorate for Christmas, you’ll probably get a version of these responses:

  • “Holiday decorations aren’t my thing.”
  • “Decorating early is tacky.”
  • “Mine go up in mid-December.”
  • “The beginning of November, so I can savor the season”
  • “Like clockwork, the Christmas decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving.”
  • “Christmas above everything! I’m ready to put them out in October.”

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

Your typical holiday decorator probably falls into one of these categories.

The immediately after Halloween decorator
As soon as the stores discount the Halloween candy, you’re thinking about the Christmas season.

While you may not put up your Christmas tree immediately, you’re in the basement searching for the Christmas boxes after the trick-or-treaters have left.

You also grab a few holiday items from the Target Dollar Spot the day after Halloween. After all, you want to nab the good stuff before it gets picked over.

And your house is decked out in holiday gear by the beginning of November.

The day after Thanksgiving decorator
You stick to the tried-and-true.

Decorating the day after Thanksgiving gives you the best of both worlds.

You can still enjoy fall but you get a jumpstart on the holidays, too. You put all the Christmas décor up in one swoop instead of going shopping on Black Friday.

The December 1 decorator
You feel that December is an acceptable time to start decorating for the holidays.

The fall décor stays out in your home a couple weeks longer than other people.

Then, you put up the Christmas decorations once December hits.

The lights go up on the house. The Christmas tree brightens the front window. The wreaths add cheer to the doors. And you’re exhausted. But cheery.

The un-decorator
When to decorate for Christmas? How bout never?

You do not decorate for the holidays.

Your friends and family may call you the Grinch, but while they spend hours tearing down Christmas decorations, you put your feet up and eat leftover pumpkin pie.

So really, who’s the winner?

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

Here’s the Easiest Way to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas

But you probably want an answer to the mother of all questions.

No, not ‘Is pumpkin or pecan pie better?’

The big question.

When is the best time to start decorating for Christmas?

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

Here’s the thing. I don’t think a right or wrong time exists.

It’s up to you. Don’t let anyone dictate your decorating sister.

You don’t need to feel ashamed if you start holiday decorating early. And if you don’t want to put up a Christmas tree ever, go you.

What matters most is surrounding yourself with things you love in your home.

Decorating is about creating an environment that makes you happy. And if putting up 20 Christmas trees makes you feel jollier than a reindeer, then put up 20 Christmas trees.

However your Christmas decorating happens is how it should happen.

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

So, what about me?

Well, I’m one of those crazies who likes to put up Christmas decorations early.

I adore the anticipation of the season.

If I wait to decorate, I feel cheated. I want to savor the excitement as long as possible.

Sometimes my holiday decorating happens organically. I don’t really think about when to decorate for Christmas. It just happens. I start with an arrangement of mini Christmas trees on a shelf. Then, I replace the fall wreath with a Christmas wreath. Maybe I’ll add some cut branches in a vase. Or, I’ll keep the pinecones in a display but remove the pumpkins. These small changes happen over time. All before the Christmas tree ever goes up.

Or, sometimes it happens all at once.

Christmas storage boxes scatter across the living room floor. One minute the house is a blank canvas. The next, it looks like Christmas exploded. Kind of like when Buddy the Elf transforms Gimbels into a winter wonderland overnight.

How to Decide When to Decorate for Christmas Without Stressing |

The anticipation of Christmas is almost always more exciting than the actual day.

It’s the same as going on vacation. You crave the anticipation of the event. The planning. The daydreaming about your big trip. That build up makes you the happiest.

Why do you think we count down the days to Christmas?

So, if I can have a whole month of excitement, I say the earlier the better.

But don’t worry. That’s just me. The absolute best time to put up Christmas decorations is entirely up to you.

This Is the Absolute Best Time to Put Up Christmas Decorations |

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Holiday House Tour 2016

Welcome to my home for the holidays this year.

It’s actually my sister’s townhouse. What an amazing sister to let me live there while I’m house hunting. Despite her sometimes ‘bah humbug’ attitude when it comes to holiday decor, she also let me decorate her home for Christmas. (And, I might have gone a little overboard.)

From a coffee filter wreath to DIY garlands to a few tchotchkes here and there (…and there…and there,) see how I decorated my sister’s urban townhouse for Christmas.

All it takes is a few pops of red to make your home feel Christmas-y. Throw pillow covers, like these ones from IKEA, are easy to slip on when the holidays roll around—and easy to take off and store away once the season is over.

A cozy, red blanket draped on the end of the couch (or over the back of it) is another simple trick to add holiday cheer. It’s also practical and not just for looks.

My coffee filter wreath adorns the back of the balcony door. Along with a ‘Merry Christmas’ banner from the Dollar Spot at Target, it creates a festive focal point in the room since there isn’t a fireplace mantle.

A Christmas tree is required, right? I dug this one out of my storage unit. Can you believe my sister didn’t have a Christmas tree? After a trip to Target, we decked it out with bright green and red bulbs and a few felt camping-themed ornaments that she loves.

And, what are the holidays without a few extra decorations? This snow globe has been around for years. The mini tree is a Target Dollar Spot find. (I can’t resist the Dollar Spot! Especially during the holidays.)

And, a pine-scented candle rounds it all out. Because it’s not just about looks when it comes to creating a cozy home for Christmas. Don’t underestimate your sense of smell. A pine-scented candle adds to the festive atmosphere.

Vintage stockings, a thrifted stocking holder and a red bin brimming with ornaments adorn a shelf in the living room.

The kitchen gets its own white mini Christmas tree. Draped with just a few copper, blue and white pinecone-shaped ornaments and fairy lights, it adds a touch of cheer to the kitchen window.

Placing the Christmas tree in a vintage tin gives it character. And it’s a bit unexpected.

And, finally, we showcased our homemade gingerbread house by setting it on a silver cake platter.

The house is so cheerful. Turning on the Christmas tree lights when I get home from work is always my favorite. Only two days til Christmas!

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

This year, I took a cue from Scandinavian decorating to make a DIY Christmas garland to outfit my Christmas tree. (And it wasn’t just because I purchased the tree at IKEA.)

Instead of a full tree dripping with ornaments, the IKEA Christmas tree encourages Scandinavian minimalism with its sparse branches. I’m not sure what it is about this look that works so well. But it does.

Maybe fewer branches mean making more thoughtful ornament choices, since you only have so many branches to hang them on. Or, maybe it’s the deliciously rustic quality of it. As if it was a real tree—imperfections and all—chopped down just outside my door. Or, maybe the simplicity is what makes the tree. It’s not decked out in twinkling lights or shrouded in sparkly twine.

Whatever it is, I needed an equally rustic and uncomplicated garland to drape on the tree. When looking at my craft supplies, I saw a bowl full of wood chips and a bag of pompoms and I knew I had to make a DIY Christmas garland using the two.

Here’s how to create your own wood chip pompom garland.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland | redleafstyle.comDIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Gather your supplies together to make your DIY Christmas garland. I ordered 3-5 cm wood chips off Amazon and I found mini red and green pompoms at the Target Dollar Spot.

What you’ll need to make a DIY Christmas garland:
– Wood chips (3-5 cm diameter)
– Mini pompoms (I bought mine at the Target Dollar Spot)
– Twine
– Drill
– Needle and thread

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Step 1: Drill a hole
Drill a hole in the center of each of your wood chips. I used about 20 wood chips for my garland, but the number simply depends on how long you want your garland to be.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Step 2: Thread the twine through and knot it
Take a wood chip and thread your twine through the hole. Then, knot both sides of the twine, so the wood chip doesn’t move.

You can either trim your twine to your desired length now (I think my garland was about 5 feet long) or keep adding wood chips and pompoms until your garland is the length you want and then trim it.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Step 3: Sew on the pompom
Sew the pompom to the twine in order to attach it. I’m no sewing expert, but I managed to attach the pompom to the twine. My tip is to insert the needle through the middle of the pompom in order to secure it.

Continue attaching wood chips and pompoms until you’ve strung them all along the twine.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Tips to keep in mind when making your DIY Christmas garland:

– Space your wood chips and pompoms at your desired length along the twine. I put a few inches between mine, but you could place them right next to each other if you like.
– When you attach your last wood chip, tie a knot at the end of your twine to secure it.
– You don’t have to use twine. Use yarn, string or even fishing line.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

This DIY Christmas garland is so easy to make. (Sewing on the pompoms is the most time-intensive part.) And, I love how this garland adds holiday cheer without going too over-the-top. It’s a bit whimsical, a touch rustic and so simple.