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5 Christmas Light Etiquette Tips

Every year at about this time, shoppers are faced with the inevitable "it's-too-soon-for-Christmas-stuff" shock at their favourite retailer. But what is the proper etiquette surrounding Christmas lighting and decor? What's polite and reasonable for your neighbours to ask of you or you to ask of them? We've put together our top five tips to help you keep the peace in the hood while celebrating this Christmas season.

When is it OK to put up Christmas lights?

In the United States the etiquette is quite clear - after Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated quite a bit earlier - too early to put up Christmas lights. Some advocate waiting until at least after Remembrance Day (Nov 11) while others are adamant nothing gets turned on until the beginning of Advent (December 1st or so). Alternatively, because not many of us enjoy the frosty finger tips that often accompany putting up Christmas lights in November and December, you can put up lights earlier but you don't need to turn them on until later in the season.

When should I take down my Christmas lights?

Obviously, you're safe to leave your Christmas lights up and on through New Year's Day an early January, but etiquette says to take them down before Three Kings Day (January 6th). If that seems like a particularly chilly time of year to be taking down your Christmas lights, consider just taking down all the lawn decorations and leaving the lights up but turned off until the weather warms up.

Can I leave my Christmas lights on all night?

This is not improper etiquette per se, but some might consider this un-neighbourly. If you hang Christmas lights (especially any kind of repeating blinking display) and it shines into your neighbour's bedroom (for instance) that's going to reach a boiling point long before January 6th. Be kind. Consider your neighbour's floor plan when designing your display and put your lights on a using a timer. This will not only save you electricity, it might just save your relationship with your next door neighbour.

What are the rules about blow-up decorations?

These can be super fun, but if your decorations are blocking sight lines for drivers or neighbours to the street, consider adjusting your design. This is not only good etiquette and neighbourly, it keeps everybody safe. You won't win any praise if your decorations cause fender benders or serious collisions.

How late should I leave the music/sound effects going?

It's quite popular now to incorporate sound and music into Christmas light displays. Cars will line the street in both directions on Christmas light tours to see your magnificent creation. The traffic issues aside, leaving the same four songs playing endlessly for a month or two is going to get irritating. Consider only turning on the music and sound effects during peak viewing hours and going silent by 11PM.

It's not too early to call our Christmas lighting and decor experts to get started on a plan for the holidays. Contact Christmas Decor Oakville to add some festive cheer to your home or business. Reach us at 905-632-2445 to get your Christmas light installation appointment before the December rush!

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