Holiday Decorating Timeline

With seasonal merchandise appearing in the stores and in marketing campaigns so early, it can be hard to tell when to put out your fall leaves and pumpkins, and when to swap them out for Santa and Frosty.  The following is a timeline of when I like to bring out our decorations.  Of course you should adjust this timeline to match your own preferences, and geographical locations, but I hope you find this to be a useful tool for your holiday planning. 


Putting out the outdoor decorations first gives your home a festive feel without invading your living space for an extended amount of time.

  • Outdoor decorations go up in the first week of October.
  • Indoor decorations go up the second or third week of October.
  • All of the Halloween-specific decorations come down on November 1st.


Colorful leaves, pumpkins, and scarecrows may have been a part of the Halloween display, but they are not just for Halloween.  These items can hang out a little longer.  If you like more of a change, you might want to save these items until after Halloween.

  • Outdoor and Indoor autumn items (not already displayed) go up on November 1st.
  • Outdoor decorations come down the week before Thanksgiving.
  • Indoor decorations come down the day after Thanksgiving.


It’s fun to have the outdoor decorations ready to turn on Thanksgiving night, to kick-off the Christmas season.  I find putting up the indoor decorations on the day after Thanksgiving is a much nicer way to spend the day than battling Black Friday crowds, and I like to keep the lights up until January 1st so we have a little sparkle to ring the New Year.

  • Outdoor decorations go up the week of Thanksgiving, but wait to turn them on until Thanksgiving night.
  • Indoor decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving. 
  • Indoor decorations (except the tree) come down the day after Christmas.
  • Outdoor decorations and Christmas tree come down on New Year’s Day.

Happy Decorating!

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