When is it acceptable to start putting up Christmas decorations, or playing Christmas songs?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
December 10, 2021, 12:30 PM GMT+0

A quarter of adults under 35 say it is acceptable to have decorations up before December

Christmas is fast approaching, and many people will be thinking about dusting off the decorations and putting up the tree. A few, however, will have already done so, and shops certainly don’t hang around until December to start their festive displays and advertising – so when is the right time for various festivities to begin?

When is it acceptable to put up Christmas decorations?

A particularly enthusiastic 14% of Britons think November is an acceptable time to put up Christmas decorations at home, with an additional 2% saying it’s fine to have them up all year round.

The general public tends to say that early December is the acceptable time for Christmas decorations at home (40%), while 28% think you should wait a little longer until mid-December. One in ten (10%) think Christmas décor at home should be kept to the week of Christmas only.

In a pattern repeated for each of the festivities we asked about, young people are more likely to think that earlier start times are acceptable than their elders. Some 24% of 18–24-year-olds and 26% of 25–34-year-olds think November is an acceptable time for Christmas decorations at home versus just 7% of people aged 55 and over.

When is it acceptable to start playing Christmas music?

Around three in ten people (29%) think November is an acceptable time to start playing Christmas music in shops and on the radio – including only 5% who think festive tunes are acceptable from early November onwards.

Approaching half (47%) instead say that Christmas music in public is acceptable only from the beginning of December, with another 13% thinking yuletide melodies should be reserved for mid-December, and 5% want to wait for the week of Christmas.

A humbuggy 4% of people think its never acceptable to play Christmas music out loud in shops or on the radio.

When is it acceptable to wear Christmas jumpers?

Britons are divided on the Christmas jumper. While 27% think it is acceptable to don one from early December, 21% think they are best kept to the week of Christmas, and 9% think they are acceptable on Christmas Day only.

Some 3% of very merry Britons think it is acceptable to wear their jolly jumper all year round. In the opposite corner, 9% do not think the Christmas jumper is acceptable at any time of year. This includes 12% of not so merry men, and 5% of women.

Nearly one in five people (19%) aged between 18 and 24 think festive jumpers are acceptable in November – versus only 5% of those aged 55 and over.

When is it acceptable for shops to put up Christmas displays?

Despite thinking home Christmas decorations should be only erected in December, half of people (51%) think November is an acceptable time for retail to set up Christmas displays and decorations. This includes 13% who say it’s alright for shops to set up for Christmas in early November. A further 36% think it is only acceptable from early December, and 8% think shops should only be decorated in the week of Christmas itself.

When is it acceptable for Christmas adverts to begin?  

Half of people (51%) think November is an acceptable time for Christmas-themed adverts, including 14% who say they can accept them in early November. Around a third (34%) think these ads are only acceptable from early December onwards. Some 7% think mid-December is the acceptable time for Christmas adverts to begin, and 2% think they should only run in the week of Christmas.

Two thirds of people aged between 18 and 24 (65%) think it is acceptable for Christmas adverts to begin in November, compared to 43% of people aged 55 and over – a difference of 22pts.

See full results here

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