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When is the right time to put up holiday decorations? It depends who you ask.

For some, it’s gauche to deck the halls before the Thanksgiving table is cleared. For others, the season kicked off a week ago — or more.

Christmas decorations adorned the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, including a huge Christmas Tree.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

For Gleb Bahmutov’s family, some new holiday traditions have recently taken root.

Last year, rather than schlepping the family Christmas tree home by car, he and his son strapped it onto the front basket of his e-bike, and plan to do the same this season.

“We used to use our car, but now we’re like, ‘Let’s try it!’” said Bahmutov, 42. “It worked out well.”

One thing is absolutely certain, however: Under no circumstances will the tree, or any other Christmas-related decor, make an appearance in their Cambridge household until long after the Thanksgiving table has been cleared.

“I’m a strong believer that every holiday has to have its own time,” said Bahmutov. “It [was just] Halloween, in a couple weeks it’s Thanksgiving, and then only in, like, the middle of December will we get a tree.”


But the belief that Thanksgiving shouldn’t be brushed aside by premature holiday cheer isn’t universally held by residents here. Mere moments after trick-or-treaters paraded through the streets of Boston and surrounding communities, holiday lights began popping up on rooftops and porches, inflatable snowmen came to life on front lawns, and boughs of holly sprouted up conspicuously on social media accounts.

“It’s weird. I’m looking out my window right now and it’s a beautifully sunny day. Half of the trees are bright yellow,” he said. “Like, why Christmas? It doesn’t go [together] at all.”

While he wouldn’t consider himself a Grinch, Behmutov’s not alone in his bah-humbug mentality.

On Twitter, some have been sharing photos of perceived crimes-against-Christmas etiquette. Halloween night, WBZ sports reporter Mike Uva spotted a home that was already “out in full force,” with its roof, trees, and fence covered in lights. In a tweet that included a photo of the residence, he expressed bewilderment about the early decorating with an upside-down smiley face emoji.


Of the dozens of Globe readers who answered a survey that asked for their thoughts on rolling out decorations, an overwhelming majority said they preferred to wait until late November before kicking off the holiday season.

“I simply can’t enjoy my turkey and stuffing with a snowman or Santa lurking in the room,” said Calli Remillard of Falmouth. “It’s just not the right vibe.”

If you ask Randolph resident Pariss Chandler, though, there’s no shame in celebrating on your own schedule — no matter what the date on the calendar says.

“I start decorating immediately on Nov. 1,” said Chandler, 31, founder and CEO of Black Tech Pipeline.

Just after spooky season ended, Chandler’s bookshelf was draped in garlands, a wreath was placed on her front door, and Christmas ornaments went on display.

“My nutcrackers are everywhere,” she said.

As in years past, the Internet has not been kind to early-Christmas revelers like Chandler. She said people have been sounding off on apps like TikTok with harsh opinions about those already embracing the holiday spirit.

“It’s weird for people to get upset about that, because people want to feel happy,” she said. “Start celebrating now. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

The debate over the right time to let out your inner elf has long divided people. But the practice of getting ahead of the Christmas curve picked up steam two years ago, when fears about coronavirus outbreaks ruining Thanksgiving gatherings led many to start decorating earlier than ever before, to drum up some joy.


Michelle Peterson, owner of Merry & Bright, a light installation company in Marshfield, said she’s seen the trend play out firsthand.

”Yeah, Nov. 1 is a thing,” she said.

Typically, Peterson’s clients wait until after the turkey is done to flip on their lights, but a growing cohort is doing it right away.

“This is kind of new to me, because when I was a kid we didn’t even do anything until the week before Christmas,” she said. “So, months before Christmas is kind of a whole different world.”

For those who would rather everyone hold off, retailers certainly aren’t helping matters. In the first days of November, Boston area malls were decked out in Christmas colors; Dunkin’ and Starbucks menus were already brandishing gingerbread-flavored beverages; and Home Depot was selling ornament-bedazzled evergreen planters in its parking lots.

Other Boston landmarks have had a bit more patience. The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel will debut its annual displays Nov. 25. And the city’s Boston Common tree lighting ceremony won’t happen until Dec. 1.

The rush headlong into holiday cheer has left some fans of Thanksgiving feasts feeling like their favorite holiday is getting short shrift.

Christmas decorations adorned the front yard of a home in Blackstone in early November.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Kyle Stevens, 43, of Cambridge, said while other people seem increasingly eager to dig their plastic Santas out of storage, he’s collecting autumn leaves — which he presses into books — for his Thanksgiving table-setting.

“Thanksgiving is a great holiday, full of pie and food,” said Stevens. “We don’t have to go straight from Halloween to Christmas.”


But the pressure to fall in line with the early-Christmas diehards can be overwhelming, and in resisting it, he risks coming off like a Scrooge, he said.

“I feel like I’m trapped in a bad rom-com where I’m supposed to get into the Christmas spirit when I fall in love,” he said.

All of the hubbub hasn’t had any influence on South End resident Lily Smith’s decorating habits. She proudly entered the holiday season more than a week ago, setting up not one, but two Christmas trees, including one covered with twinkling lights — consequences be damned.

“Immediately my friends were like, ‘You’ve got to calm down. You can’t be like this,’” said Smith, 25.

She does have limits, however.

“I don’t start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to other people yet,” Smith said. “I’m not that annoying. I’ll wait a few more weeks.”

Spencer Buell can be reached at spencer.buell@globe.com. Follow him @SpencerBuell.