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Christmas Decorations - When Is The Right Time?

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I've already been seeing Christmas displays in stores. Trying to think if they ever came down from last year.

The over exposure of Christmas has gone a long way towards ruining my Christmas spirit for the past few years. It used to be something special and exciting. Now it's become just another day on the calendar. Not even sure of which day since we get bombarded with it for so many months. In my house we don't break out the decorations until after Thanksgiving.

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hasn't happened here yet, but i'm sure it's lurking around the corner. we put up some decorations the second week in december, but we're pretty sick of the "yuletide" pressure to buy! buy! buy! friends and family get together for a meal and we might go sledding if the weather cooperates, and those who want to go to midnight mass.

a couple years ago one of the network stations went around the streets in munich in the weeks before christmas asking random passersby if they knew " what the meaning of christmas" is. :thud:

it's probably become one of my least favorite holidays because of what merchandising has turned it into. (so i'm in denial that it's coming up).

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We have stores around here who had them put up last month. I enjoy Christmas because we keep it simple and really don't pay attention to all the commercial aspect of it. I don't have regular tv, only netflix, so no commercials. I am not going to let their stupidity about it ruin the real reason for the holiday. We don't put up decorations till after Thanksgiving either but I take them down the day after Christmas too.

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I believe I was in my early 20s when I realized I'd become disenchanted with how commercial the stores have made our holidays. I especially detest seeing Christmas stuff before Halloween! It makes me want to do all of my shopping online or through catalogs just to avoid it all.

IMO, there should be respect for each holiday. They should individually have their own fanfare without infringement and be no advertising until after the preceding holiday has concluded. My *only* exception would be for craft/fabric-type stores who need to provide supplies and materials to customers with enough time to be purchased and made before the season and/or holiday's arrival.

I fear in the future, stores will begin displaying and pushing their Christmas advertising in April.

*and just one more thing*

I hate that bathing suits can only be found in the spring/summer and for people who take vacations in the fall/winter to warmer climes .... the hunt is ON for a bathing suit, and lately I'm sure they must be acquired online during the off season. I understand why clothing stores rotate their clothing with the seasons but I'd love it if everything were always available to see, feel and try on at the stores.

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I work retail in a specialty store. We don't decorate before November first. I FLAT REFUSE to decorate for Christmas before Halloween!!! Personally, I wait till after Thanksgiving and it comes down a few days after Christmas. Both at home and work.

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In our area, it's considered a sign of respect to wait until after Remembrance Day (November 11th).

However, as soon as Halloween is over, you'll see Christmas things in retail stores.

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I guess I live in redneckvil because there are people here, businesses too, that leave the Christmas lights up all year.

I don't decorate at home until December 15th or so and everything comes by January 1st. I love christmas decorations and have a huge amount of handmade stuff from friends and family. I love getting it out and putting it up, it's like finding old friends every year when I start unpacking it. I am done with it and ready to put it away after a couple of weeks though.

I don't holiday shop and I don't like that one holiday is not even here yet and they are advertising the next one. I understand the retail point of view, but I don't like it.

I don't know that there is a right or wrong time to decorate for any holiday. A lot of those old "rules" have gone out the window these days. Who still abides by the "no white after Labor Day" rule when getting dressed? I never wear white anyway but if I did, I would wear it whenever I want!

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I tend to get offended when I see Christmas merchandise in stores, especially big box stores, before other holidays. That demeans the meaning of the other holidays and there are some that deserve to stand alone and be recognized - Veteran's Day being one of them. I will not purchase any Christmas oriented merchandise before the day after US Thanksgiving because of that.

Personally, my Christmas decorations start going up on Thanksgiving evening and are completely taken down on January 7th. This is because what most Christian denominations call Epiphany is Eastern Orthodox Christmas. My father's side of the family was originally Eastern Orthodox and when the nearest Eastern Orthodox church became quite a journey, they began attending the local Roman Catholic church.

So, my father's side of the family eventually began celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve and carried it through January 6th. FYI, that's where the 12 days of Christmas originated. There are twelve days between the ordinary calendar's Christmas and Orthodox Christmas.

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I usually get a tree and decorate my home the weekend after thanksgiving. I usually take stuff down around new years. We keep it fairly simple though. I hate seeing Christmas stuff in store before november though.

And the thing I hate the most...stores opening on thanksgiving afternoon with black friday sales. Man I am turning red just thinking about it. It is black friday...not thursday! Let people spend a holiday with their families.

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I believe I was in my early 20s when I realized I'd become disenchanted with how commercial the stores have made our holidays. I especially detest seeing Christmas stuff before Halloween! It makes me want to do all of my shopping online or through catalogs just to avoid it all.

IMO, there should be respect for each holiday. They should individually have their own fanfare without infringement and be no advertising until after the preceding holiday has concluded. My *only* exception would be for craft/fabric-type stores who need to provide supplies and materials to customers with enough time to be purchased and made before the season and/or holiday's arrival.

I fear in the future, stores will begin displaying and pushing their Christmas advertising in April.

*and just one more thing*

I hate that bathing suits can only be found in the spring/summer and for people who take vacations in the fall/winter to warmer climes .... the hunt is ON for a bathing suit, and lately I'm sure they must be acquired online during the off season. I understand why clothing stores rotate their clothing with the seasons but I'd love it if everything were always available to see, feel and try on at the stores.

Clothing manufactures set the time when merchandise is sent. I worked in a clothing store and it was frustrating when summer clothes came in the coldest part of the winter (February) and winter clothes came in the hottest time of the summer (August). :rolleye0014: When it was time to actually wear the clothes, we had to put them on sale to pay for the new stuff that was coming in months before it was needed.

I enjoy decorating for Christmas. They go up the first week in December and go back into boxes in the first week in January. I also buy stuff for gifts during the year when things are on sale or I spot that perfect something for someone on my list. I keep them in a large rubbermaid container with giftbags I bought on sale after the holidays. My older niece and nephew get cash. The younger two get less cash and some actual presents to open. My mom always goes crazy and buys a bunch of stuff that costs the earth to mail a couple of weeks before Christmas. It drives me :wacko:

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I started to see Christmas stuff in the stores as early as September. It's disgusting! The radio station I listen to starts playing Christmas music on Nov 1st and plays it thru New Years. I don't like it, I think the day after Thanksgiving is early enough!

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I don't decorate before Dec 1 and it comes down right after New Year's. I do start making gifts earlier than that though, other wise I would never get them done.

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Now Christmas music I really enjoy. I play some of it all through the year on my piano because it's the few pieces I can actually, kind of, play. I just like how upbeat and the words of most Christmas music. I don't think they should play only that at stores though because of the poor employees that have to listen to it. My son told me when he worked at walmart they had a cd of the music and would put it on a loop and play it continuously. I can see how that would drive someone nuts. Any music played that way would wear on a persons nerves.

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two weeks before Christmas, I get the tree out...decorate it.....day after it comes down.

lights on Christmas eve, christmas morning. only rose and I here.

I found out years ago...when I d id put up everything up lights outside, tree during the month of December. till jan 1... the electric bill went up too.

Edited by Ann Wheeler

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I love the smell of the tree and we put it up at the start of December. It also helps me get in the spirit to shop as I hate shopping except for horse stuff. I'm a Christian and the meaning of Christmas is really not about presents or decorations, but I like the celebration with friends and family so I go along with the traditions.

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I am with the rest of you who hate the commercial aspect of it. I have been quite jaded about it in the last few years, but I also had a traumatic family incident at Christmastime that does not help my mindset much.

I love to have a real tree in the hoise, though, and think December 15 is appropriate timing for us. It seldom stays up more than a week after Christmas.

I have two small storage containers of tree and house decorations, some of which get left in the box. More and more I am a believer in NOT doing something "just because" it is tradition. If something has personal meaning to ,e it stands a much bigger chance of being repeated year after year. But hanging lights on the house just because? No, thanks. Too much work and too little compelling reason for it.

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To me, tradition is about personal meaning. When all you have left of your family are the decorations, some recipes and *schedule* of the holiday, the tradition can be the difference between bearing up and getting through the holidays or completely coming apart.

Remember that some day, "you're gonna miss this."

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what's interesting (or depressing) is the stories you hear about how traumatic christmas is for a lot of people. some families only get together once a year, and the grudges or misunderstanding that have been harbored for the last 11 months make their ugly way to the surface. we know parents with younger children for whom christmas is a traffic nightmare--first they have to fly five hours to their holiday destination, then they have to go to her parents' house and then they have to drive three hours accross town to go to his. they DREAD christmas.

i do think a lot of this is due to people succumbing to the pressures of merchandising and what they "think" tradition is, and sometimes i ask myself how dumb the industry thinks (or knows) we are. i'm NOT religious, so christmas to me means getting together with family and friends and catching up on the last year. that kind of tradition is a lot more palatable to me than "decking the halls with boughs of holly" and knocking myself and my wallet out with christmas prep. bah humbug lol!

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Personally To many beloved family members have passed away...many are missed on Christmas, in reality it's a sad holiday, aren't any more family dinners to share ,laugh, enjoy. I no longer have the joy in the holiday seasons. Regardless for my daughter/'s sake I have to put on a happy face.

lt's the same with all the other holidays just a another day for me to get by.. Not only did we celebrate Christmas, My late husband's was born on Christmas day.

Recently lost my BIL, the oldest son, oldest brother. all brothers but one brother are gone now.

Edited by Ann Wheeler

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This is one of the few times my family gets together. We don't see each other much through the year. All the traditions don't mean much to me. The only thing I would miss would be when the oldest in the family reads out of the bible about the birth of Jesus. That is the only tradition we've kept up with. The rest is just whatever and done for fun. I feel for all the ones that have a hard time during that time.

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The overdone commercialization has really put a damper on Christmas and how people view the holiday. I think there is a growing backlash with people decorating less and celebrating with family less as well.

After reading some of the stories here I wonder about the social aspect of it. Does having young kids or grandkids put more "spirit" into the holiday?

I am fortunate my family still gets together and makes the day about fellowship and fun. Gifts for adults is pretty much non-existent and it's focus has shifted to the grandkids. The highlight everyone looks forward to is our spirited game of bingo with small gifts as prizes. Some make re-appearances year after year. We also get together several times throughout the year and have very little to no drama to deal with which helps tremendously.

Do you decorate or go all out for any other holidays? I know some who go nuts for halloween.

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i think just having family puts christmas in a different (good or bad) light. i have a cousin in l.a., and he and his wife have had at least forty people over to their house every christmas eve for the last 25 years for a wonderful turkey dinner with all the fixings. only around 18 are family and the rest are "orphans". there's an adult's table and a kid's table ( i always lobby for the kid's), and a good time is had by all. every single person there gets a present from under the beautiful tree that she picked out during the course of the year and wrapped herself (from the wrapping paper from the year before haha--she throws nothing away!!). i'm not a christian but have tremendous respect for those who walk the walk, and don't just talk the talk. christmas eve at their house is something very special, and everybody who has been there would tell you it''s the "real thing".

the flip side of that coin was christmas at my in-laws in germany years ago before we lived here and before i spoke german. oy vey, the audible recriminations, the tears!! my MIL is jewish (by birth but not conviction) and always enjoyed the festivities and was never a source of drama, but my SIL was a piece of work. glad for you wolfie that family drama isn't a recurrent theme.

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To me, tradition is about personal meaning. When all you have left of your family are the decorations, some recipes and *schedule* of the holiday, the tradition can be the difference between bearing up and getting through the holidays or completely coming apart.

Remember that some day, "you're gonna miss this."

I hear what you are saying, and I agree, although that probably applies to other families waaay more than mine personally. My life has been absolutely rife with instability, with very few "traditions." It means WAY more to me to be able to spend the time with loved ones and it matters not to me if the house is decorated or not, or if we have broken out the once-a-year snowman plates for Christmas Eve dinner. Which I don't actually own, lol!

The overdone commercialization has really put a damper on Christmas and how people view the holiday. I think there is a growing backlash with people decorating less and celebrating with family less as well.

After reading some of the stories here I wonder about the social aspect of it. Does having young kids or grandkids put more "spirit" into the holiday?

I am fortunate my family still gets together and makes the day about fellowship and fun. Gifts for adults is pretty much non-existent and it's focus has shifted to the grandkids. The highlight everyone looks forward to is our spirited game of bingo with small gifts as prizes. Some make re-appearances year after year. We also get together several times throughout the year and have very little to no drama to deal with which helps tremendously.

Do you decorate or go all out for any other holidays? I know some who go nuts for halloween.

I decorate for absolutely no other holiday. I know plenty in our collective family who do, and love it, but for me it is an odd, First World kind of tradition that only distracts me from the things I consider more important.

My kids are grown, and we always enjoyed Christmas when they were little. They stopped caring about our few traditions in their late teens, which changed things for me, too.

Our grandson just turned one, but I do feel like he and his future siblings are a new opportunity to remember previous traditions and maybe introduce new ones.

But I think I am peculiarly devoid of excessive sentiment, which may be a good thing but I actually regret. I owe it to a long line of broken, disenfranchised and dispersed extended families.

I am going to show my true colors here, for a moment, you are going to catch a glimpse into the working of my mind and it may be a little scary, lol.

Traditions, to me, denote a certain level of expectation and thus "responsibility." Another opportunity for perceived "failure." And I use the term perceived because I do not actually consider it such. But it falls deeply into a category I believe is founded by modern, First World, commercial society, sharing a space with "If you do not have granite counters you are doing it wrong." And "if your floors are not dark-stained wood they are not good enough." These are all things are expected to be done "right" when "right" is nothing but a subjective term. This blog post is specifically about kitchen decor, but I think the mindset is easily applied to many other areas of our American lives:

http://www.today.com/home/glennon-doyle-melton-shares-her-gratitude-blog-post-1D80093570

Earlier this year I DIYed a kitchen facelift in our "new" home, and consequently ended up spending a lot of time on the kitchen forum at Gardenweb. If youw ant to feel crappy about your life and/or your kitchen, hang out there for awhile. The people are great, and very few are judgmental, but when you see the money, energy, time, blood, sweat and tears sunk into some of these mega-budget kitchens it is soooo easy to start feeling inadequate and start looking for ways to make your kitchen 'fabulous' instead of "perfectly fine." I have taken a loong hiatus from Gardenweb, and it has taken me several weeks to come down off the Remodellers/Decorator's sugar rush I was on.

So, those above comments may seem divergent, but I still believe, absolutely, that that kind of mindset applies to so many different areas of our lives, including how we raise our kids (How 'Supermom' were YOU today?), where we vacation (new pics of our FAB trip to Costa Rica!).....and how we spend our holidays. ('Sooo blessed to have every loved one around this gorgeous tree after our perfect turkey dinner on the right plates!')

There is nothing inherently wrong with those things, or even a high-end kitchen remodel if one is still able to care properly for their family. But it is when we start setting expectations for the way things "should" be or are "supposed" to be things get out of control fast and what should be a precious time becomes a nightmare slough of gift-giving panic, all-night decorating sessions and popping the antacids because you are paralyzed by indecision over whether the turkey should be brined, deep-fried, roasted or stewed. There is nothing wrong with travelling an hour up the coast to stay in a B&B for to night instead of going International. You are not a bad or inadequate or even LAZY mom for not cutting your child's sandwich into fun animal shapes. The sweet fellowship with family should not be any less sweet of the turkey is in casserole form and/or served on chipped, mismatching plates.

Kkay, I am sick and ranting. i will stop there, but I stand by what I have said. I have spent three years deconstructing everything I knew about "should" and rebuilding it in a realistic paradigm. I know I have work to do, still.

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i think just having family puts christmas in a different (good or bad) light. i have a cousin in l.a., and he and his wife have had at least forty people over to their house every christmas eve for the last 25 years for a wonderful turkey dinner with all the fixings. only around 18 are family and the rest are "orphans". there's an adult's table and a kid's table ( i always lobby for the kid's), and a good time is had by all. every single person there gets a present from under the beautiful tree that she picked out during the course of the year and wrapped herself (from the wrapping paper from the year before haha--she throws nothing away!!). i'm not a christian but have tremendous respect for those who walk the walk, and don't just talk the talk. christmas eve at their house is something very special, and everybody who has been there would tell you it''s the "real thing".

See? Perfect! I love that! I have lobbied for 'orphan's each Thanksgiving and Christmas, but DH has a lot harder time conceptualizing such things than I do.

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I don't like the Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving, much less Halloween. At least get one set of holiday decor & food put away before you bring out the next!

Our Thanksgiving is usually when we have "orphans". Anyone we know who doesn't have family or a place to go is welcomed here. Christmas welcomes "orphans" also. Not sure what this year will bring with 4 of the grandkids off in different states, 2 in Virginia, 1 in Maryland and now 1 in North Dakota.

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I don't/won't decorate my house for Christmas but...AFTER Thanksgiving!!!! It's awful seeing Christmas displays up next to the Halloween stuff - but Halloween doesn't have much meaning beyond fun. As a non-Christian, Thanksgiving has much more meaning to me than Christmas. And really, making Christmas 3 months long completely takes away from the meaning that it's supposed to have anyways. Disgusting.

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When I was a kid and was taking piano lessons, my instructor would give me Christmas songs to start practicing mid- to late-November. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to practice them at home yet, because my mother flat-out refused to tolerate anything Christmas-related until December.

I grew up with that "value" instilled into my mind. But then, once December broke, I really enjoyed all the traditions and activities and festivities that came along with the holidays.

Now, although I always feel wrong about it as I was taught to shun the holidays until the month that they occur in, I have trouble abiding by that "rule." And I'm learning to be OK with that! I understand other peoples' point of view - not wanting to get tired of these things before they even happen. That's fair. To each their own. Whatever. But I really REALLY love Christmas. I love the exciting wait for snow in early winter, and the hope for a white Christmas. I love the action-packed bustle of the stores during december, and all the silly products I can laugh at that aren't on display the rest of the year (how many different kitchen appliances can they possibly think of? dont' they know that there are already tools in most kitchens for making mini pies, cupcakes, pancakes, tacos, etc etc etc....lol). I love hunting out the perfect present for everyone on my list. I love seeing all the beautiful, festive decorations on people's doors. I love getting into the spirit and listening to cheery christmas music and eating scrumptious holiday treats and snuggling up during the cold weather surrounded by cozy holiday decorations. I especially love the childlike side of Christmas - the countdown to Christmas Eve; the excitement of the night before, scurrying to bed after a special meal and late-night service; and, best of all, the Morning Of: the anxious wait for my parents to start the coffee, turn on the christmas music, and illuminate the christmas tree before we were allowed to go out to the living room and see our "santa presents" under the christmas tree. I know that part was the somewhat greedy child in me getting excited for "stuff," but now, to me, it's about the traditions. It's about that excitement and the magic that is Christmas, and I don't think I should have to wait until December 1st to enjoy those feelings of festivity and excitement. I am not ashamed at all that I watched an entire Hallmark Christmas movie today, excited to see that that channel has officially started playing them all day long. I won't hesitate to play the odd christmas song as the mood strikes, although I won't go full-tilt until closer to the holiday because I, too, can overplay a song.

I love Christmas.

That is all.

haha

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I don't decorate until Dec. 1st. I may start getting a few things out after Thanksgiving but nothing goes up until Dec. 1st. except maybe lights, which need to go up before the snow flies and it's too dangerous.

Christmas stuff has been out in the local Walmart since September :shocked: I was shocked! Christmas stuff was out even before Halloween stuff was out.

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