As the fall season deepens and the whisper of winter begins to blanket Canada, a question stirs among those eager to celebrate the festive season: when is the right time to start decorating for Christmas? This timing is more than a mere date on the calendar; it’s a cultural conversation, blending tradition, respect, and anticipation. Let’s unwrap the topic of when to begin Christmas decorating in Canada.
A Cultural Holiday Perspective
The holiday season in Canada, much like its geography, is a mosaic of customs and practices. While personal and family traditions predominantly guide decisions about when to start decorating, regional and cultural nuances also play a part (Hodgetts, 2016).
The Unofficial Start of Christmas: After Remembrance Day
A common Canadian custom is to hold off on festive decorations until after Remembrance Day on November 11th. This day holds profound significance as a time to honor and remember the country’s military veterans. In recognition of this, many Canadians choose to postpone the merriment of Christmas decorating until after this solemn day (Veterans Affairs Canada, 2019).
Aligning with American Thanksgiving
Some Canadians look to their southern neighbors to cue the start of the holiday season, with American Thanksgiving serving as a marker. While not a Canadian holiday, the close cultural ties and the proximity of the date to the end of November make it a convenient reference point for some (The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2012).
December 1st: A Safe Bet for Festivities
A consensus among many is that December 1st is a reasonable time to start decorating for Christmas. This date is often seen as the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, providing ample time to enjoy the festive atmosphere leading up to Christmas Day (Maclean’s, 2017).
Regional Holiday Variations
Canada’s vastness means winter arrives at different times depending on the region. For instance, in some northern areas, early snowfalls in November can prompt an earlier start to holiday decorating. Conversely, in urban centers or milder climates, the timeline may shift to later in the month or early December (CBC News, 2016).
Keep it Tasteful
Whenever you decide to decorate, there is something to be said for the aesthetics of moderation. A study by environmental psychologists found that while decorations can create a sense of friendliness and community, over-the-top displays might have the opposite effect (Nasar & Hecht, 2008).
Ultimately, the decision of when to begin Christmas decorating in Canada is as personal as the diverse individuals who celebrate it. Whether inspired by cultural traditions, personal preference, or the first snowfall, the goal remains the same: to revel in the joy and peace that the season brings. So, whether early November or December suits your fancy, let the spirit of the holidays guide your decorations. As for us, the public vote has spoken, and our decor will be going up on November 12th. Sign up for a class on our schedule to see for yourself!
- Hodgetts, D. (2016). “Canadian Christmas: A Patchwork of Traditions.” The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com.
- Veterans Affairs Canada. (2019). “Remembrance Day.” Retrieved from https://www.veterans.gc.ca.
- The Canadian Encyclopedia. (2012). “Thanksgiving in Canada.” Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca.
- Maclean’s. (2017). “When should you start decorating for Christmas?” Retrieved from https://www.macleans.ca.
- CBC News. (2016). “Christmas Lights Across Canada Illuminate the Dark Season.” Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news.
- Nasar, J. L., & Hecht, P. (2008). “The Festive City.” Environment and Behavior, 40(6), 837–862. DOI:10.1177/0013916508314476.