Snobby Christmas Decorating

(Picture is from a Pottery Barn catalog.)

Halloween is over, so it’s time to talk about decorating for Christmas.

There are two types of Christmas decorating snobs:

1. One who thinks everything is too early

2. One who thinks everyone’s decorations are tacky

As far as the earliness complaining goes, I get it. If we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ, it makes no sense to have decorations up right now, or even after Thanksgiving, or even during advent.

On someone’s birthday, don’t you get their balloons that day? So when they wake up, it’s all very “Hooray! Big celebration!”. Giving them balloons a month beforehand would make no sense. They would come down for breakfast on their birthday and there would be some old balloons sitting there and it would all feel very pointless.

So I understand that complaint, even if I have my tree up early in December.

But there is the other kind of snob. I am like this.

I believe we should have all fresh greenery. Real candles everywhere would be preferable.

And Christmas movies. Black and white only. No Muppets. Actually, no movies at all.

As far as outdoor decorations go, white lights, a fresh wreath, and no blow up Santas, projections, or things that flash.

The ideal tree should have white lights, classic candy canes, a tartan ribbon, and white and gold ornaments. THATS IT.

Isn’t this fun?

No. Christmas decorating snobbery is annoying.

Moreover, my actual house has plastic gingerbread houses, colored lights, tinsel, and reindeer towels in it, because that is what others in my family like and have given me as gifts. I also have a Christmas village set, which I find highly ironic. The fake village celebrates old town squares that we used to have, and is made in Bangladesh and sold at chain stores. But it was my grandmothers, and I love it. My kids have handmade stocking with slightly tacky Santa faces knit into them. But they were made by family, so I love them. (Also we can’t hang them on the mantle or they would burst into flames, so they show up on Christmas Eve.)

I need to keep in mind that Christmas decorating does not exist to express my personal taste to the the world. It’s to celebrate a birthday, and it’s not mine. If a certain member of the family insists on colored lights, well okay. If the neighbor wants to put up an inflatable nativity set, then Merry Christmas to them. It’s not about me.

When does your decorating start? Have your Christmas tastes changed as you’ve gotten older? Do you judge those with colored lights? I hope you have a fun time planning and decorating. (But not yet.)

P.S. I just discovered these lights which I think are a good compromise for divided Christmas light households.

P.P.S. If you want beautiful decorations, look at the Holiday Collection at Everyday Occasions.

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  1. I’m already watching Countdown to Christmas on Hallmark and listening to Christmas music. All gifts are bought as well due to the possible shortage. Only 3 for my son and one for each of us and close family.

    I don’t decorate until the week of Thanksgiving. It is just the 3 of us plus my MIL. I love my little Christmas village and add to it every year. Our decor is mismatch and we get a special ornament every year. We have amazing traditions. I love October, November, and December for the time with family and really focus on just being present.

  2. In the UK I think it’s even more unusual to see that much outdoor decorations (only about 20% of homes, but that’s just a guess!). People still show off but it’s more subtle, most people put their tree in in the window alcove so the neighbours can see it, and stick a wreath on the door.

    But I love people who are different! Down the round there’s a bungalow which is dressed up to the nines with cheesy ornaments and lights! There is also the home that sticks loads of big traditional Christmas dolls / figures like Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas, in their windows, incl. a creepy figure in black outfit that I haven’t worked out yet who they are supposed to be (either First Footing man or Krampus?!)

    I think people are embracing xmas decoration early this year, I’ve seen more ppl start early. It’s usually acceptable to have your decorations up after Remembrance Day / Remembrance Sunday is finished, but you have to take it all down by Twelfth Night, it’s bad luck not to.

    Also most people don’t decorate for Halloween. A few may put out a pumpkin to indicate that accepting trick or treaters, but most ppl only take their kids to see friends + family anyway.

  3. I start decorating for Thanksgiving when I start decorating for Fall. I skip Halloween. I absolutely despise how creepy the Halloween decorating has become. It just seems like it is more than ever. My youngest daughter disagrees but she can do as she likes when she has her own home. I just pray for the heart behind her disagreement will turn back to God.
    I kind of understand the stores having all the Christmas stuff out to sell fairly earlier. I think it has become too early though. I think craft stores are a different story though. Crafters need the supplies early.
    I do NOT decorate for Christmas until a week or more after Thanksgiving, and then it happens gradually. This year I’m on a slightly earlier schedule. The tree is going up by the end of this week maybe a little sooner. I started the decorating outside and I am working my way in. There have been strong hints of Christmas throughout the downstairs for the past week. By the week before it will be in full “bloom”. I think the “preparatory” look for Christmas is in keeping with Advent. I love natural ( though my tree is fake, mostly for economical reasons) and homemade decorating with flashes of sparkle in tree ornaments and the lights, but I love red and tartan!
    Decorating with the kid’s homemade ornaments is done – – judicially – – and hopefully, diplomatically – Haha!
    My strongest feeling about decorating is in the days after Christmas. I love the 12 days of Christmas. I get the most out of the celebration when I think of it this way. I wish more Christmas parties were done during the 12 days.
    I absolutely hate-it makes me sad-to see rea trees tossed out on the curb the DAY after Christmas or even in the first week after. I think it is just so revealing of the materialistic attitude people have about Christmas. They went and got that real tree so early and of course, it dried out, so by now it really needs to go. If you must get your tree early to make sure you get a good one, leave it set outside in a bucket of water. That and the cold will help it stay fresh longer. I learned that trick when we lived in N.H. and I was able to find a small to medium size tree we could afford.
    Okay, I end my rant of strong opinions and “snobbery”????????

    1. oh heather I could not agree you more! especially halloween and my middle daughter is obsessed! but at least she is still young and likes cats, pumpkins, etc. And the same about the time being AFTER Christmas the most important. it’s like a build up to it all advent, then the celebration. but now we “gorge” ourselves on it so so early and with so little restraint, that when the time comes to really celebrate, we’re over it. ARGH double rant over. ????????

  4. Ha! I love this post. I like white lights on my tree, but grew up with coloured lights. My tree is full of homemade and – gasp – not matching decorations and I love it. The top picture is beautiful and while some may like it, it’s not me. I start decorating the first weekend of December when we get our real tree and I hold on as long as possible. Merry Christmas.

  5. I usually wait until December 1st to put up the decorations and tree, usually the first weekend after! We go and get the tree, and cut it down at our local tree farm – our family tradition.

    This year we are making all of our own decorations. I am a potter and throwing ceramic Christmas ornaments, and others are handbuilding some.

  6. I have to admit I hate seeing Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. It makes me sick to see the stores selling stuff so early. However…the day after Thanksgiving stay out of my way. I have so many decorations for inside the house that I rarely need to turn on any of my regular lights. On Christmas Day we always have a birthday cake to celebrate!

  7. I have to admit I do not like those giant inflatable decorations… and flashing lights. However, I do realise they really are for children so I should probably quit being an old grumpus while driving down Main Street glaring at them! In terms of when to put up your holiday decorations, I used to wait for third week of December, but in recent years the decorations start coming down from the attic after Thanksgiving and slowly start to appear. I do believe some may put up decorations early because it simply is so pretty.

  8. I can’t stop laughing, because I am the same way!! All I ask for is a classic, pristine, Victorian style decorations with no mismatched popsicle stick ornaments or fake garlands… But I’m learning to embrace the whimsy of Christmas decorating with small children and appreciate having a house full of “oxen”. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty.” Proverbs 14:4

    1. Yes, Victorian! I think I should invent some faux candles to clip on to trees. Whimsy is a nice way to put it. I used to work with a woman who suffered from infertility, and when she finally got pregnant, the first thing she said was “I can’t wait for Christmas, and to have a baby in the house for it, just how life should be.”

  9. I do not like skipping Thanksgiving to decorate and I looked for affordable cute things to buy for Thanksgiving this year and my stores were sparse to none.
    I guess I will try again on the day after Thanksgiving but I abhor Black Friday because it drives me nuts.
    However, since we have two birthday’s in December we absolutely love decorating for Christmas. I was so angry last year when “my tree” we only had one was bombarded with candy canes, then family came over and brought two kids over 25 reindeer to glue and fasten and glue reindeer craft all over my tree. I wanted a white and silver themed tree, by the time Christmas came our tree was bogged down with all kinds of stuff and sentiments. I hosted Christmas and found that when I let go and just enjoyed the season I had a blast!
    My tree nor my decor was magazine worthy but it was filled with family and food and that’s what it is about. God doesn’t care whose whom is like a catalog or those who celebrate simply, the point is to be to have your heart ready for the celebration and demonstrate the love that He died to give.

    This year I am going to try to convince my husband to just do our tree with our most sentimental ornaments with white lights, we have had colored for years, ribbon and stringed popcorn ( I have always wanted to do this).
    I don’t want to be any kind of snob, not even a fashionable one.
    I believe whenever people want to start decorating is their own prerogative but for us its the day after Thanksgiving. Dec 01 is when we get our fresh tree. 🙂

    1. Surely everyone can agree that Black Friday is from the devil, and I mean that quite literally. Thanksgiving decorations definitely get looked over, which is sad. All the pumpkins at the farm stand near us and getting carted away. I would have totally gotten some if they marked them down! Your tree sounds happy and beautiful ??.

      1. Yeah, I am not a fan of Black Friday and if I do go, we knowingly get coffee, sit and people watch. Lol It is sad that Thanksgiving gets looked over 🙁 I will wait this year to look for some cute Thanksgiving turkeys for decor but then “Black Friday” ruins the moment. Online maybe? Awe, that is sad that commercialism is driving Thanksgiving into a taboo holiday. It is like, “yah turkey, whatever are buying presents yet? etc..”

  10. I can accept decorating after Thanksgiving, but I don’t get spending Thanksgiving Day putting up Christmas decorations, and I sure don’t like Christmas decorations taking over the store shelves the middle of October. But that’s just me, I guess. To each their own. 🙂

  11. I only have white lights on my tree, this is my consolation that I can’t have real candles on the tree as I did growing up. I was just thinking about when to start decorating this year. My brother’s birthday is on Christmas Day and he takes it as a personal insult if you don’t start decorating on the 1st of the month. I want to get new decorations every year as my children are not small anymore and don’t live at home so my tastes have changed a bit. I allowed them to take any ornament of their choice off the tree starting in high school and gave them their own ornaments every year so they would have a good start for themselves. It was fun trying to figure out which ones they would take. Decorating for the holidays should be fun and personal to you and your family anything else is just fake to impress others.

    1. You had real candles! Lucky! I’ve always thought December birthday people would feel cheated that their birthday was mixed up in the holidays…but it seems like everyone who has one loves it. Love the ornament idea with your kids.

  12. I totally agree! We have decorations that my toddler painted on our tree, and growing up my mum had a Nativity scene that had wobbly figures which my dad would glue back down every year.

    I love the memories attached to these things – even if they don’t look like they are from a shop window.