When is it too early for Christmas decorations?
Less than a week away from December, it’s not hard to see trees, baubles and tinsel in most New Zealand city centers already.
In stores, candles, ribbons, garlands and Christmas trees were seen on shelves last month, even for Halloween.
But for some, Christmas lights and Santas should not be allowed until after December 1.
So, is there a good time to get festive?
Joyce Morton, who lives in Auckland’s Mount Roskill, transforms her home into the North Pole itself every year.
With over 100 Santas and an entire Christmas village, her home has been a neighborhood attraction for 25 years.
“I’m starting in October, I know people will disagree, they think it’s stupid. But it used to take me a week, but now it takes me almost 10 days. I’m getting older.
“I really don’t care what other people think once the decorations are done for December.”
Sometimes when there’s nothing on TV really worth watching at night, I sit in my chair and of course it’s dark and all the lights are on, and that’s absolutely magical, she said.
Krystal Poinga, who works as a duty manager in Auckland’s Glendene, takes a whole week off from work every November to decorate her home.
“My boss knows I take a week off to decorate. If I could leave it all year, I would.
“It’s the joy and the excitement for the kids. I say the kids, but really it’s me, they’re just an excuse,” Poinga said.
In total, Poinga collects dozens of boxes of Christmas decorations.
She said the unveiling of all the decorations and lighting of the outdoor area will be made in December, on her birthday.
“I get a taste because I have to test how it looks and when I decide to do the big reveal, I get the whole family together for my birthday and turn on all the lights. It’s magical.”
Phillie Delany-Lott, a personal assistant who also lives in Auckland, is the creator of the Christmas Ideas NZ Facebook page where people can exchange decorating ideas.
“I was at the end of my maternity leave and it was a bit of an emotional time. I needed something to cheer me up a bit so I thought I’d start this Christmas page and people can join in if they want and share their love share for Christmas, because I love Christmas.”
As the page grew in followers, she began collecting prizes from local stores to draw among the decorating enthusiasts.
Delany-Lott said there is no rule of thumb when it comes to decorating.
“Everyone’s like ‘Don’t hang them until December 1st because that’s bad luck. But you hang them up and then it’s Christmas Day and suddenly the feeling is gone. Christmas comes and goes too fast so why not put them hang up? rather on?”
Meanwhile, with two Christmas trees and dozens of decorations flawlessly scattered throughout his living room, Onehunga resident Aaron Redmond said his own decoration sometimes comes last to help others with their trees.
“Because I’m doing the whole house, it takes a few weeks to get everything done. I start mid-November and try to get our house ready. But I have a lot of friends and family, so sometimes mine is left for last.”
I think their requests will come in as soon as they see my tree, he said.
Redmond said some pieces can cost up to $200 alone.
“I try to wait until the Boxing Day sale, but then you keep what’s left. So I like to start earlier and sometimes I like to spend a bit of money on some items.”
He said his search for decorations lasted all year.
“When Christmas is over and everyone’s not thinking about it, I’m already. One of the things I pay attention to is what the Americans are doing, they’re really leading the way.”
And about early Christmas decor, Redmond said it’s never too early to start.
“My mom used to tell me ‘It’s not December 1st, you can’t do it’, but you know what? Christmas isn’t made for the rules, you have to have fun.
“It’s about the joy it brings, the happiness it brings, so why not celebrate that sooner?”
Like it or not, it’s really starting to look a lot like Christmas.