The Downside of Decorating too Early for Christmas

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the downside of decorating too early for christmas. is that a really thing? i used to not think so but i found out the hard way.

now don’t get me wrong, i love christmas A LOT! the decorations, the snowflakes, red and green splashed everywhere, twinkly lights and rotund santa sculptures all get me overly excited and i’ve been known to jump up and down to express such excitement.

let me tell you a little story about rushing past thanksgiving and diving in christmas and why if you start decorating and celebrating too early, it could potentially ruin christmas or hanukah   for you.

downside of decorating too early for christmas

twas mid-november, on a dreary day in portland. i had just started my first big girl job in social work the month before, helping homeless families get housed. it was crisis work with lack of resources and funding to meet the needs of mothers living in cars with children. it was intense, i felt overwhelming anxiety and lack of confidence in how to do my job. on top of that, i wasn’t going home for the holidays.

as i was driving home one night, trying to force the tears down because i had to call 9 families to let them know they didn’t get selected from the raffle for rental assistance, one radio station had already started playing christmas music! the moment i heard “walking in a winter wonderland,” my anxiety decreased and that warm, happy, holiday feeling spread through my whole body! for the next few weeks, i was constantly belting out christmas music, i decorated my desk and my home because it was making me so happy and i didn’t give a hoot about thanksgiving because christmas was where the magic happened.

sadly, by mid-december, i was starting to feel slightly burned out and if ‘santa claus is coming to town‘ didn’t stop being played every 32 minutes, i was going to go to his town and tell him to hurry the hell up and come to town already. by the time christmas finally got here, i was over it. the magic was gone. my holiday smile and the excitement fizzled. the baileys in my hot cocoa tasted familiar and boring and jolly st. nick just appeared like a fat guy in a red suit. i had stretched out christmas and i basically ruined christmas for myself because i had strung it out too long, which is indeed possible.

i also realized how sad it was that i just jumped over thanksgiving, a day where we acknowledge and celebrate all the things we have to be thankful for.

that holiday season, i vowed that i must never rush into christmas again and never take thanksgiving for granted. this was reconfirmed when my very sweet mother sent me a thanksgiving package this week – complete with a pumpkin candle, harvest pasta, turkey cookie cutter and pumpkin scones (not shown) and the best napkins ever! give thanks’yall (especially for my texan husband).

IMG_2112this year, the christmas bug tried to snuck into my husband and he tried to convince me we should decorate early. i reminded him of the above story but since marriage is all about compromise, i agreed to hang some white lights and put two little pine trees in the corner. the rest stays hidden until after thanksgiving has been appropriately acknowledged, celebrated and 3 pounds have been gained.

ut up christmas decorationsi know many people and bloggers are already in the christmas/hanukah spirit and have lovely tutorials about how to decorate but i would caution to spread out the joy because it is possible to ruin december holidays by starting too early. that being said, in no means am i putting juju out there for your christmas to be ruined, in fact i hope it’s fabulous even if you decorated early! i t0o am very much looking forward to getting in the spirit soon (the christmas sweater for our dog is bursting to be freed) but first let’s give thanksgiving it’s space to shine!

stay tuned because i’ve got a fun way to acknowledge giving thanks for the love and abundance in our life starting on monday so watch for a post sunday about it and i hope you’ll join me!

1) be honest, when do you start decorating for the december holidays?
2) has a holiday ever been ruined for you?
3) in the spirit of thanksgiving, what is something about your relationship you are thankful for?

(i’m thankful for a thoughtful husband who surprised me with a date night last night as seen on my instagram!)


  1. Rachel G

    November 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    In all honesty–some years, I’d come home from school in October and find out that Angel put up the Christmas tree while I was at school. He LOVES the lights, and because he gets so excited about them, I do to. But we never really did much besides put up the tree and lights until December, when I’d usually make a countdown with Christmas-ish activities. This year I don’t think we’ll do anything, really, but I guess we don’t know, we still have time…
    Rachel G recently posted…Air Pollution

    • chelsea

      November 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      haha october?! hot diggity that is indeed early but i also love twinkly lights something fierce 🙂 hope you find some fun new ways to celebrate in china rachel-it will be interesting to see how it’s celebrated there!
      chelsea recently posted…The Downside of Decorating too Early for Christmas

  2. Amanda

    November 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Christmas was ruined for me when I worked at JCPenney and was forced to listen to the same 8 awful Christmas songs on repeat from October through January.
    I do believe in separating holidays and following them chronologically, so you will never see my tree up before Thanksgiving. Maybe that will change if we have kids, but for now I don’t want Thanksgiving to get jipped. Poor guy. Lol.
    Amanda recently posted…Tell Me About Your Town: What You’re Thankful For

    • chelsea

      November 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      oh nooooo! i always feel for people working retail around christmas time-that had to have been terrible! and through january?! yuck. agreed on not wanting thanksgiving to get a bum deal, amanda 🙂
      chelsea recently posted…The Downside of Decorating too Early for Christmas

  3. Paula Howley

    November 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    We bring out the advent wreath at Advent which is usually around the end of Nov, beginning of Dec. This is a nice festive wreath with four candles and it’s on our dining room table. I also put out our Nativity scene as well but I don’t know WHERE I will put it this year since my desk is being used and that’s where I usually put it up. I usually put up some red and gold beads here and there as well.
    We have been getting our tree later every year which suits me fine as I’m trying to be more about the spirit than the material of the season.
    2. A ruined holiday? Well, my 28th Canada Day was pretty crappy because I spent the night in the drunk tank!
    3. Thankful for a husband who knows when I need to be left alone. 🙂
    Paula Howley recently posted…Head Start Public Speaking For Kids Week 7- Body Language and the Power Pose

    • chelsea

      November 21, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      that seems like a great way to ease into the holiday, paula! hopefully you find a place to put your nativity scene this year. i just realized we won’t be getting a tree this year since we will be in CO (yay!) but now i’m kind of sad because usually we get a little guy for our little apartment. i suppose i will just have to reminisce about old trees 🙂

      well i suppose that would ruin your 28th canada day too! and i second that thankfulness to husbands who know when we need to be left alone! smart lady you are paula

  4. Lindsay @ The Newlywed Notebook

    November 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Eric and I have a tradition where we take the entire day after Thanksgiving and just spend it in our pjs watching Christmas movies, eating junk food, and decorating our entire place for Christmas. It’s a tradition that we love so we always wait to decorate until that day, but some years it’s so tough to hold out!
    Lindsay @ The Newlywed Notebook recently posted…And the Award for Worst Puppy-Mommy Goes to Yours Truly

    • chelsea

      November 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      awww that’s a super cute tradition, lindsay! i am also happy to hear you wait until after thanksgiving to do so (also love the jammers day because who wants to put on real clothes after eating 5lbs of turkey!)

  5. Heather Hawkins

    November 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    1) Before Miss Aiden, I didn’t decorate. My family wasn’t ever big into the holidays. Even now, we aren’t big on it. We do lights and non-traditional trees. The lights are LED and change colours based on however nick programs them, which is just plain awesome.
    2) I got jumped Christmas eve one year and got my hip dislocated.
    3) I love that my husband knows how to read me so well. I don’t really have to ask for certain things when I’m down. When I’m not pregnant, champagne will show up for “no reason” and now that I am pregnant, lots of veggies and coffee flavoured milk keeps coming in when I’m sad.

    • chelsea

      November 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      that is pretty incredible that nick knows how to program the tree’s lights-awesome! that also sounds like a horrible christmas eve where you were jumped and a hip dislocated-jeez!

      that made me smile to read about wha you love about your husband, heather! glad he/you are finding substitutes for champagne and yay adding to your family 🙂
      chelsea recently posted…The Downside of Decorating too Early for Christmas

  6. Amanda Wood

    November 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

    i usually wait until after Thanksgiving to put up decor and definitely listen to the music. But this year, I’m not going to be able to make the trip to Georgia, so put the inside decor up last week. I’m staying away from the music though. I get burnt out on that pretty quickly.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Link Your Ink

    • chelsea

      November 22, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      i think the music is totally what killed it for me that one year too, amanda! glad you found that putting up the decorations early made you happy since you won’t be able to make it back to georgia this year 🙂 i am having to ask my husband to please stop whistling christmas songs because it’s still too darn early!

  7. Ashley

    November 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

    When I was a little girl my family decorated the day after Thanksgiving. I plan to continue this with my husband. Cody’s parent are all about Thanksgiving. It is their holiday and my family has always been about Christmas! To be honest my favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas. The meaning behind them are important to me and full of joy and grace! Your story was sad!!!! Do you still work in the field?
    Ashley recently posted…Thankful Friday

    • chelsea

      November 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      that’s so perfect that cody’s family is all about thanksgiving and yours is all about christmas! that works out splendid, ashley! glad you are continuing the tradition of decorating after thanksgiving is over!

      and nope, i got laid off from that job a few years ago and now my husband and i run a consulting business around communication together 🙂 different stressors but i still don’t allow myself any christmas music until after thanksgiving!
      chelsea recently posted…Join Me for 7 Days of #GratefulLove Tomorow!

  8. Christina

    November 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

    So often in life we wish to be at some future point in our lives (“I wish I was on that vacation I’m taking next month,” “I wish it was summer,” etc.) instead of recognizing the little things that make each day special. The Christmas season is a bloated extension of this phenomenon. What’s worse, retailers play into our sensitivities by reminding us of how wonderful the Christmas season is in hopes that we will become mindless, mass consuming zombies. “Dontcha love Christmas? You should probably buy stuff to remind yourself what a wonderful time of year it is.”

    I’ve never had a holiday ruined, per se, but I’ve been in retail for years now so the Thanksgiving/Christmas season is always stressful. Getting time off can be very difficult, and I get a lot of anxiety when the sales floor is saturated with customers. We officially started playing our Christmas soundtrack yesterday, and they’re reusing last year’s playlist! Boooo.

    I’m thankful that my husband seems to know me better than I know myself sometimes. It helps him manage our arguments and my low moments very thoughtfully and deliberately.
    Christina recently posted…Liebster Award

    • chelsea

      November 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      so many valid points, christina! we do often dream and wish of the future instead of appreciating the exact moment we are presently experiencing. you are also totally right about those damn retailers and marketers trying to get into our minds/soul about capturing that magical time of the year (though admittedly i do buy in and get a few things but try to be conscious of this).

      i hope customers aren’t jerks this year during the holidays…cannot imagine the anxiety you must feel because i feel it in crowds and i don’t even “have to be nice” to others like you might at work. hope that christmas music doesn’t make you go insane (though not cool it’s the same soundtrack from last year!)

      love that your husband knows you so well and he can help sometimes keep your thoughts and feelings in check during tough times! that’s a solid thing 🙂

  9. Pingback: Join Me for 7 Days of #GratefulLove Tomorow! • the new wifestyle

  10. Donna

    November 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Grin… my MO is the exact opposite. I’m never in a rush to put decorations up, and have a “meh, whenever” attitude about taking them down. The legend of the Easter Tree in my family may be more fact than fiction. 😉

    • chelsea

      November 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

      haha i love this donna! your easter tree sounds amazing and i’m glad you are relaxed about it all 🙂