I overheard a few weeks ago in early November, "you know you live in a rough area if the Christmas decorations are up already," but I don't think that counts for the shops. They were talking about the homes that adorn the entire exterior of their house as a winter wonderland with flashing lights of a climbing Santa on the chimney and twinkling reindeer and sleigh, with fake snow snowmen, in the front garden to replace the garden gnomes.
Advent starts this weekend, on Sunday 27 November, so many say that it's now the right time although Advent is technically the start of Christmas preparations and not the start of the celebrations. If you are being strictly religious about things - and some may remember this was a religious festival before commercialism came along - you can't put the Christmas tree up until Christmas Eve as the purpose of the tree and the decorations is to celebrate the feast of Christmas. That's the big meal you have on Christmas Day.
I do know someone who waited until Christmas Eve as they refused to buy a tree before and they spent most of last 24th December trying to find a suitable tree to bring home. As you can imagine, the tree suppliers don't keep their best ones for those who come shopping so late.
Americans hate to see Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving in late November but Christmas cards are on sale in the UK from late summer as we don't have that autumn marker to keep the card shops in check.
So when is the right time to drape tinsel and baubles around your home? And do you share the decorating tasks as a family activity or is one family member left to sort it all out alone?