Every year, Americans can’t agree on when it is appropriate to start decorating for Christmas. Some believe decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving is perfectly fine, while others find it appalling.
When thinking about this debacle, I wonder how traditions are different in other countries, since they do not have Thanksgiving. Specifically, when do they decide when it is appropriate to start decorating for Christmas?
Natalia Michas, an international student from Poland, says that it is typical in Poland for people to decorate the week of Christmas.
“It is Christmas time when we start decorating the tree, which is usually four days before the actual dinner for Christmas,” said Michas. She also commented how unusual it is for her seeing Christmas time start at the beginning of November or even before. “For us, November first is a day to remember all the dead people,” Michas said.
On the other hand, when I went to London, England for Thanksgiving break a few years back, everywhere was already decorated for Christmas from the streets, to pubs, to stores. There was even a huge Christmas market in Hyde Park called Winter Wonderland which was open from mid-November through the beginning of January.
Personally, when I am at home, I like to start decorating a few days before Thanksgiving and continue through the day after Thanksgiving in order to get all of the good Black Friday deals. However, while at school, I find myself decorating earlier in November because I want to make my space festive and enjoy it for a longer period of time. It is such a jolly feeling coming back to school after Thanksgiving to a fully decorated apartment.
Therefore, I decorate before Thanksgiving to maximize the time it is up and can be admired until we are off for winter break the second week of December.
From all that I have found, it seems as though it really does not matter when you start to decorate for Christmas. Some people, like those in Poland, wait until a few days before to bring in the Christmas spirit. Others, like myself, enjoy decorating in November, before Thanksgiving. This way, it maximizes the amount of time spent with the decor to feel the Christmas spirit for longer. At the end of the day, people are decorating to celebrate the season and that is what really matters.