Design Holidays & Celebrations

The Results Are In: When Do You Put Up and Take Down Your Christmas Decorations?

Are you eager to get Christmas decor up as soon as Halloween is over, or do you wait until the last minute? Find out when your fellow Bob Vila readers get into (and out of) the holiday spirit.
Deirdre Mundorf Avatar


We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

As the holiday season approaches, one question that is on the minds of many is when they should (or for the more enthusiastic, when they can) start decorating for Christmas. Everyone has different opinions on this subject—some of which can be quite strong—so we took a poll of our readers to see where they fall on the spectrum of decorating. Do they start as soon as Halloween is over or wait until within weeks or days of Christmas?

When to take down Christmas decorations is another point of hot contention; some readers return their home to normal the next day, and others wait well into January. Our social media poll reveals what Bob Vila followers have to say about the best time to put up and take down Christmas decorations.

RELATED: 30 Vintage Christmas Ideas Worth Bringing Back

When to Start

A father holds his son up to let him put an ornament on a Christmas tree in their living room.

Immediately after Halloween: 16 percent

For some, as soon as the calendar flips to November, it is fair game to start decorating for Christmas. Halloween is officially over by November 1, and many people have no qualms about putting decorations before Thanksgiving. A total of 16 percent of respondents to our Facebook and Instagram poll fall into this camp and are eager to get their home in the holiday spirit as soon as Halloween spirits fade.

According to one of our respondents, you should “do what makes you joyful.” If decorating early achieves that goal, then why wait? Another respondent shared the tip to “start early and do one room at a time.” This approach can help prevent feeling overwhelmed with everything there is to do. Starting early also can give you plenty of time to snag great deals and decorate your tree on a budget.

Elegant Holiday Thanksgiving Dinner Place Setting

After Thanksgiving: 67 percent

Some people do not like to mix holidays and prefer to focus on Thanksgiving before thinking about Christmas. In fact, most of the respondents to our poll—two-thirds of them—said that they wait until after this holiday to start putting up Christmas lights and other decorations. This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 23. Starting decorating the following day leaves a full month to enjoy the decorations before Christmas arrives.

RELATED: How to Make Your Christmas Tree Last All Season

On December 1: 10 percent

While Thanksgiving weekend is a popular time to start getting the home ready for the holidays, some prefer to wait until the beginning of December. A full 10 percent of our Instagram and Facebook poll participants said that they don’t start decorating until at least December 1. This is, of course, getting closer to Christmas, but still leaves about 3 weeks until the big day.

Mid-December: 7 percent

There are various reasons why someone might wait until the middle of December—less than 2 weeks before Christmas—to start decorating. Some people might want to wait to really get into the holiday spirit until Christmas is actually near. Others (7 percent in ourwhe poll) may get so caught up in everything going on during this busy season—from working to shopping for gifts and everything in between—that they don’t even have a chance to start thinking about getting their house ready before mid-month.

RELATED: 11 Christmas Plants That Will Enliven Your Holiday Decor

When to Put It All Away

Close view of bright lit up epiphany starts hanging in front of other Christmas decorations.

As soon as Christmas is over: 16 percent

The best time to take decorations down and clean up is another topic that can spark a heated debate. According to 16 percent of the respondents to our poll, decorations are best taken down as soon as Christmas is over. Cleaning up right after Christmas might be a good option to get ready for the New Year or to take advantage of time off over the holidays to get everything organized and put away for next year. One respondent to the poll mentioned a practical signal: “Don’t keep [your decorations] up long enough to need to dust them.”

RELATED: The Best Storage Solutions for All Your Holiday Gear

At or around Epiphany: 61 percent

According to Christian traditions, Epiphany celebrates the Magi’s visit to Baby Jesus on the Twelfth Night of Christmas. Many Christians see this as the true end of the holiday season, and wait until Epiphany to start taking down their decorations. More than half of the participants in our poll—61 percent—said they leave their decorations up through Epiphany, or until 12 days after Christmas.

Through the end of January: 21 percent

Just over 1 in 5 poll participants (21 percent) said that they leave their decorations up through the end of January. The weather in most parts of the country is still cold in January. Some glowing outdoor Christmas lights and festive indoor decorations can add a little cheer and warmth to this otherwise dreary part of the year.

RELATED: 20 Surprising Stories Behind Popular Christmas Decorations

What Do You Mean “Put It Away”?


2 percent keep their home feeling like Christmas all year long.

The other option is to simply leave some decorations up year round. If Christmas is your favorite holiday, and you’re always sad to take down your tree and other decorations, you can follow the lead of the 2 percent of our respondents who say that they leave everything up all year long. Of course, if you’re going to leave a tree up year-round, it will have to be an artificial one.