I am one of those people who could have Christmas decorations up as early as September but how early is too early in a general sense to get ready for Christmas? There are two sides to this question and I am going to dive into each side.
Getting your shopping done for Christmas is always a hassle, especially if you wait until November to get your gift shopping done. In my opinion, it's never too early to start shopping for gifts. It would make it super simple to shop all year (if you have the space) and simply wrap everything in December. I know for some people though shopping all year is not something that you really want to do, or can do, so my suggestion would be to make your lists by the end of August or the beginning of September. This means everyone you need to buy a gift for and what you are going to get them; or even just ideas of what to get them. Then start shopping, take a section of your list at a time if you don't want to get it all done in one day. Using this method you could have your shopping done by the end of October to the middle of November (depending on how often you shop). This would save you the stress of the holiday rush. This doesn't mean don't go shopping in December but rather that you will be able to enjoy your shopping experience more without the stress of finding all your gifts in time. Save all your little things or stocking stuffers for this time.
If you are not one to be this organized that's fine too, I would still suggest having all your shopping done by the second week of December if you want to cut it close. Obviously, this will not be everyone's opinion but I am a somewhat organized person so I don't like the last-minute type of planning.
November is also the perfect time to stock up on your holiday foods as well. Your non-perishables or frozen appetizers or your drinks. Getting this shopping done early cuts down on the extra shopping you will have to do in December.
On the other side of this is decorations. It's always been the rule of thumb to wait until after Halloween to decorate. Others say that you need to wait until after Remembrance Day. It's really a personal preference.
In my opinion, you can decorate any time, I'm one of those people who would leave decorations (to an extent) up all year. However, I think that any lights and music, especially in public, should wait until after Remembrance Day. Any other decorations, really why wait? My mom is one of those people who doesn't decorate until December 1st and then everything comes down by January 5th. A Christmas tree you can decorate all year, for every holiday (yes, I am one of those people who would leave a tree up all year and decorate it).
*Ideas for Year-Round Trees; Click to expand the pictures*
That being said in general I think that decorations can go up whenever, I think only having a month to enjoy the decorations (if you decorate December 1), really isn't enough time to get you in the Christmas spirit, at least to me. If you love Christmas, embrace it.
What do you think? How early is too early to prepare for Christmas?
When do you decorate for Christmas? How do you manage your Christmas shopping?