Home > Blog > Settling the Debate of When To Hang Christmas Lights: A Yuletide Survey

Settling the Debate of When To Hang Christmas Lights: A Yuletide Survey

Updated Nov 30, 2022

Updated Nov 30, 2022

Home > Blog > Settling the Debate of When To Hang Christmas Lights: A Yuletide Survey

In all the season’s festive cheer, one point of contention has always stood out – when is the right time to hang your Christmas decorations? Throughout social media, posts abound with commenters debating the appropriate time for stringing up Christmas lights. Some believe that the start of December is ideal, while others think you should begin yuletide decorations in November. We decided to settle the debate by asking nearly 4,000 homeowners about their plans for hanging Christmas lights this holiday season.

Main Findings

In our most recent survey, we asked 3,939 U.S. homeowners when they thought it was too early to put up Christmas lights and when they planned on hanging them. Here’s what they said.

Most Interesting Findings

  • December 1 was the day most people said it was acceptable to hang Christmas lights. However, most homeowners said they’d hang their lights in early to mid-November.
  • 18% of Americans have no problem with Christmas lights being up before Thanksgiving.
  • 4% of Americans say they leave their Christmas lights up all year.
  • Delawareans aren’t waiting for Halloween to end. Their most common answer to when they plan to hang their lights was in October.
  •  2.8% of those surveyed said they planned to put up their Christmas lights on Christmas Day.

When Is It Too Early to Display Christmas Lights?

graphic describing the earliest day you should display Christmas lights
Image Source: House Method Team

National Findings

The first part of our survey asked when it was too early to hang Christmas lights. According to our respondents, most Americans think any date before December 1 is too early. Interestingly, this means most households don’t follow their own preferences. When asked when they planned to adorn their home with lights, most homeowners stated they would start during November.

When digging deeper into survey responses, we discovered that many Americans like to hang their Christmas lights right around Thanksgiving. Specifically, a notable subsection of respondents stated that they planned to adorn their homes with lights on or around Black Friday. This trend makes sense, as Thanksgiving is a transitional period between the two major parts of the season. Thanksgiving creates a tidy divide between Halloween and Christmas on the calendar, presenting the perfect space to pack up all the autumn decor and replace it with dazzling winter lights.

Some American homeowners prefer to celebrate the season all year long. Of those surveyed, more people preferred to leave their lights up year-round than those who believed that the first week of November was too early to put out lights.

State-by-State Breakdown

graphic describing the earliest day you should display Christmas lights
Image Source: House Method Team

We discovered several trends when looking at the responses on a state-by-state basis. First, a vast majority of states – 34 out of 50 – believe that hanging up lights before Thanksgiving is too early. The most notable exceptions were Georgia and Delaware, whose residents have no problem putting out Christmas lights in October. However, no respondents from Georgia believed that leaving your lights up year-round was acceptable. To that end, no state said that year-round light displays were the most common. But New York and Indiana had the highest percentage of people who said that year-round light displays were ideal.

When Do Americans Plan To Hang Up Their Christmas Lights?

National Findings

graphic describing when do you plan on hanging up your Christmas lights
Image Source: House Method Team

According to our survey results, early to mid-November is when most Americans plan on hanging up Christmas lights. What’s interesting about this response is that it’s contrary to when most U.S. households would prefer to see Christmas lights, which is early to mid-December. These figures imply that most U.S. homeowners like to see homes lit up closer to the holidays but will begin to make preparations beforehand. Practically speaking, this makes sense, as many homeowners are extremely busy throughout December. Between holiday get-togethers and Christmas shopping, many American households have little time for decorating.

When asked about what specific times homeowners intended to hang up their lights, about 20% said that they planned on the week of Thanksgiving. On the other end of the spectrum, 2.8% of those surveyed said they planned to put up their lights on Christmas Day, with the highest concentration of respondents in California and Indiana. When asking homeowners if they leave their Christmas lights up all year round, 12% said yes, even though only 9% said it was acceptable.

State-by-State Breakdown

graphic describing when do you plan to hang up your Christmas lights
Image Source: House Method Team

The states with some of the earliest timetables for hanging Christmas lights included California, New York, Connecticut, and Indiana. Next in line is Delaware, whose residents plan on hanging up their lights in October. Homeowners in 13 states preferred to hang their lights around Black Friday, including Florida, Idaho, New York, New Hampshire, and South Dakota.

Full Data

This table shows a state-by-state breakdown of the earliest date their residents find it acceptable to hang Christmas lights and the day they plan to display them.

StateEarliest Acceptable Day to DisplayPlanned Day to Display
AlabamaBlack FridayFirst Day of December
AlaskaFirst Week of DecemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
ArizonaNovember, Before ThanksgivingNovember, Before Thanksgiving
ArkansasFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
CaliforniaFirst Day of DecemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
ColoradoFirst Day of NovemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
ConnecticutFirst Day of DecemberSecond Week of December
DelawareNovember, Before ThanksgivingOctober
FloridaFirst Day of NovemberBlack Friday
GeorgiaOctoberFirst Day of December
HawaiiNovember, After Black FridayFirst Day of December
IdahoFirst Day of DecemberBlack Friday
IllinoisBlack FridayNovember, After Black Friday
IndianaFirst Day of DecemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
IowaFirst Day of NovemberFirst Day of November
KansasFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
KentuckyBlack FridayFirst Day of December
LouisianaNovember, Before ThanksgivingNovember, Before Thanksgiving
MaineFirst Day of DecemberFirst Week of December
MarylandFirst Day of DecemberFirst Week of December
MassachusettsBlack FridayNovember, After Black Friday
MichiganNovember, Before ThanksgivingNovember, After Black Friday
MinnesotaFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
MississippiBlack FridayFirst Day of December
MissouriNovember, After Black FridayNovember, After Black Friday
MontanaNovember, Before ThanksgivingFirst Day of December
NebraskaNovember, After Black FridayNovember, Before Thanksgiving
NevadaFirst Day of NovemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
New HampshireBlack FridayBlack Friday
New JerseyFirst Day of DecemberFirst Week of December
New MexicoBlack FridayNovember, After Black Friday
New YorkFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
North CarolinaFirst Day of NovemberNovember, After Black Friday
North DakotaFirst Day of DecemberNovember, After Black Friday
OhioBlack FridayFirst Day of December
OklahomaFirst Day of DecemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
OregonFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
PennsylvaniaNovember, Before ThanksgivingFirst Day of December
Rhode IslandBlack FridayFirst Week of December
South CarolinaFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
South DakotaBlack FridayBlack Friday
TennesseeNovember, After Black FridayNovember, After Black Friday
TexasFirst Day of DecemberNovember, After Black Friday
UtahFirst Day of NovemberNovember, Before Thanksgiving
VermontFirst Day of DecemberFirst Week of December
VirginiaFirst Day of NovemberFirst Week of December
WashingtonFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
West VirginiaFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
WisconsinFirst Day of DecemberFirst Day of December
WyomingFirst Day of NovemberFirst Day of December

Final Thoughts

When looking at our survey results, we can see that most Americans prefer to hang up their Christmas lights in mid-November, specifically around Thanksgiving and Black Friday. However, a few states begin decorating earlier, with some displaying their yuletide adornments before Halloween. On the other end of the spectrum, we found that some homeowners are procrastinators to the extreme, hanging up their lights on Christmas Day.

Methodology

House Method surveyed 3,930 Americans using a third-party survey platform to ask their opinion on when it is too early to hang up Christmas lights and when they plan to hang them up. The survey was conducted in October 2022, and we estimate a margin of error of 2% with a confidence level of 90%.

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