Settling the Great Debate: Why I Decorate Early for Christmas

Amidst political debates, disagreements over whether Ross and Rachel were really on a break, and arguments over doing away with daylight savings {just kidding, everyone’s in agreement on that one}, I think there’s one controversial topic that really needs to be addressed.

To decorate early for Christmas or to wait until after Thanksgiving? THAT is the question.

Now I’ll be honest, I never really thought it was a big deal one way or the other before I made my social media account public a few years ago, but boy was I wrong. You post one lousy photo of a Christmas tree decorated mid-November and BAM. Let the arguments begin. You’d think I’d brought up global warming at a family get together the way people carried on.

Team Decorate Early

child in winter clothes stands next to inflatable dinosaur in the front yardNevertheless, she persisted. I might be taking my life in my hands admitting this, but I’m Team Decorate Early. Come the first Saturday after Halloween and up goes my Christmas tree the way Santa and the Sugar Plum Fairy intended it. {I’m now totally picturing an angry mob of villagers coming for my Santa mug collection with pitchforks and wondering if my nutcrackers can take them…}

Here’s a thing — we go all out for Christmas. We set up and decorate two enormous trees, and a smattering of smaller ones my children often abscond with to their rooms. We hang garlands and put up several huge, festive inflatables in our front yard that the kids love {and I have lukewarm feelings about}. And while I love everything about it, decorating the house this intensely is work. So if I’m going to put in the time and energy to transform our house into a winter wonderland, I darn well want to enjoy it for more than a few weeks.

Stress Relief

home decorated for ChristmasNot only does starting early ensure that I get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of all the Christmas goodies I’ve accumulated throughout the years, it also means I’m less stressed during the month of December, which I think we can unanimously agree is the most hectic month of the year. Between present buying, family get-togethers, school holiday events (and if you have kids in more than one school, that goes double or even triple), and all the other things seem to pop up at the end of the year, I frankly just don’t have time to fit in house decorating. So I made the executive decision to skip the stress and start earlier.

And you know what? Science agrees with me. Steve McKeown, a psychoanalyst and owner of The McKeown Clinic, and psychotherapist Amy Molin agree that putting up Christmas decorations early brings us back to childhood nostalgia that helps us combat our everyday stress and anxiety.

Sold.

Not Skipping Thanksgiving

Don’t get me wrong. Thanksgiving still gets its day in my house. Two in fact — the day we celebrate with my side of the family, and the day we get together to celebrate with my husband’s. We just happen to do it surrounded by mini bottle brush trees and Christmas stockings. Just like the original Thanksgiving that brought pilgrims and Native Americans together (or so my second grade teacher Ms. Bentley assured me), we can make room at the table for turkeys and Santa. Let’s just hope no one brings the syphilis.


 

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Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brothers Renner {January 2018} and Rafe {September 2021}. When not chasing around her three crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @polyjuiceandpixiedust .

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