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Is it too early to put up your Christmas tree in November?

when to put up your christmas tree
When should you put up your Christmas tree?Photography: Jon Day / Styling: Rebecca de Boehmler / Direction: Sarah Keady / House Beautiful

When is the right time to put up your Christmas tree and decorations? Each year, the anticipation for Christmas seems to start a little earlier but there are many different traditions and beliefs when it comes to the best time to start decorating your home for Christmas.

Once upon a time...

During the Victorian period, Christmas trees were traditionally put up much later in December, often on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Straight after Halloween

For some, Christmas decorations go up as soon as Halloween ends on 31st October, and so Christmas lovers embrace 1st November as the start of the festive season and begin decorating their home at this time.

But, putting Christmas decorations up early actually makes you happy...

Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told UNILAD that putting up Christmas decorations early extends the excitement of the festive season. It acts as an 'anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions' and so ultimately makes you happier.

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Psychologist Deborah Serani also said decorating your home for Christmas early can 'create that neurological shift that can produce happiness', explaining to TODAY Home: 'Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone.'

paper christmas decorations
Jon Day/House Beautiful

Advent

An important date in the Christian calendar, Advent is the period before Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus, and is a period of preparation. The occasion can be marked with an Advent candle and Advent wreath. Tradition dictates that Christmas trees should be put up at the beginning of Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This year, Advent begins on Sunday 3rd December 2023.

1st December

The beginning of December is a popular choice, with many households decorating their home for Christmas at the start of the most festive month to mark the official countdown.

The big tree'kend

The first weekend of December is set to be the most popular, according to John Lewis. Four in 10 are expected to have their tree up by 3rd December, in what the retailer is calling 'the big tree'kend'.

a christmas tree in a room

It depends on if you buy a real tree...

If you're buying a real Christmas tree, the British Christmas Tree Growers Association always advise that trees should not be purchased earlier than 1st December. Why? The tree should survive for at least four weeks, though properly caring for the tree (it should be treated like any plant being brought into a warm, dry atmosphere) could help it last longer.

According to Dobbies, the second Saturday in December has historically seen an influx of shoppers buying real Christmas trees, an event officially called 'Bring Your Christmas Tree Home Day'. Research shows sales on the second Saturday of December had doubled, tripled and sometimes even quadrupled compared to other shopping days.

12 days before...

Others may choose to put their decorations up 12 days before Christmas, which means you'll be turning your home into a festive abode from 13th December.

when to put up your christmas tree

So, once the tree is up, when does it come down? There are many different traditions for this, too. Read our guide: When to take the Christmas tree down: Twelfth Night & Epiphany tradition explained.

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