When do Americans want to start seeing winter holiday decorations in their communities?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
November 23, 2021, 4:05 PM UTC

As the holiday season gets underway, many Americans will be hanging lights, putting up Christmas trees, lighting menorahs, and setting out kinaras (a seven-branch candle holder used during Kwanzaa). A new YouGov poll earlier this month asked Americans who celebrate a winter holiday about when they put up their holiday decorations, where they get their decor inspiration, and how much they plan to spend. 

Among Americans who celebrate at least one of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, more than seven in 10 (72%) say they decorate the interior of their house for the holidays. Far fewer (43%) say they put up decorations outside. But it varies by region: Americans who live in the West (56%) and South (53%) are more likely than people in the Northeast (40%) and Midwest (35%) to say they usually decorate their yard or the exterior of their home. 

When do Americans put up their holiday decorations? 

Among Americans who celebrate a winter holiday and decorate their homes, many will be putting up their decorations this week. 

Almost one-half of holiday decorators get started between Thanksgiving and the end of November. Around one in six (16%) will wait until early December, but only 5% get started on decorating in mid-December or later. 

These findings are very similar to a YouGov poll last year around the same question of holiday decorations, in which 25% said they put their decorations up the day after Thanksgiving while 24% said they put their decorations up in the days after Thanksgiving but before December.  

But while most people have waited until late November to deck the halls, they’re happy to see others’ decorations sooner.  

When asked when they want to start seeing holiday decorations on display at homes in their community, nearly one-quarter (24%) of Americans said early November or even sooner, even though only 16% intend to put up their own holiday decorations in the same time period. 

Where do Americans get their decorating inspiration? 

Three in 10 people who plan to decorate their homes for the winter holidays say they get inspired by seeing how other people have decorated their homes. Just under one-quarter (23%) say they get their ideas from what they see on social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. Fewer (14%) say they get holiday decorating ideas from magazines or websites, and 12% look to TV. Close to half (46%) say they don’t get their holiday decorating inspiration from anywhere in particular. 

Americans who live in the West (27%) are more likely to draw inspiration from social media than those who live in other regions of the U.S. (fewer than 19% across the Northeast, Midwest, and South said they look to social media for inspiration). People who live in the West are also more likely (36%) than people in the South (30%), Northeast (21%), and Midwest (21%) to say they get ideas from seeing how other people have decorated their homes.

How much do Americans plan to spend on holiday decorations?  

Among people who celebrate a winter holiday and plan to decorate, about two in five (42%) won’t be buying anything new to decorate. Slightly more (50%) say they’ll buy some new decorations and also use some decorations they already have, while 6% will buy all new decorations. 

Among Americans who will be buying new decorations, a majority (73%) don’t intend to spend more than $100 on decorations. One in twenty (5%) will spend less than $20, while 22% say they’ll spend between $20 and $40. On the other end of the spectrum, 5% say they’ll spend at least $200.

See the toplines from this YouGov poll 

Related: What Americans think about Thanksgiving foods and traditions

Methodology: 3,000 U.S. adults, aged 18 and over, were surveyed via YouGov Direct for this poll on November 3, 2021. Data were weighted according to age, gender, race, and education to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is approximately 3%.

Image: Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels