While the exact length – even the definition and timing – of the fall may differ in different geographical regions, the season generally starts on 1st September and ends on 30th November.
There are two significant holidays around this time:
So, When Should You Put Up and Take Down Fall Decorations?
For putting up, any time between the start of September and the middle of October sounds about right. Any time between this and the end of November is perfect for removal.
However, exactly what you should put up and when to remove it will depend on its purpose – whether it’s for Halloween or Thanksgiving.
And since these two major fall holidays occur close to each other, you probably don’t have a lot of time to think through the details.
Labor Day was set aside to recognize the American workforce. On this day, we honor the contributions of American laborers, all of whom have been integral to the spectacular rise of the country.
The holiday is celebrated annually on the first Monday of September.
Make sure your flags, confetti-filled balloons, and pennant banners are up within a week leading to this day.
This means you should start thinking of Labor Day décor immediately after the conclusion of the summer.
And since it’s a one-day holiday of great importance but one that doesn’t arrest great public attention, your décor should be removed almost immediately – preferably that evening.
Halloween is observed on 31st October, meaning everything needs to be up and ready at least a week leading to this day.
Put up your Halloween décor too early and the creepy touch will come across too premature; set it too close to the day and you won’t suck all the creepy juice out of it.
Of course, there are Halloween purists who always want everything to go to plan.
They count to the day and always have everything ready for the holiday.
If you are one of these diehard Halloween aficionados, putting your décor together between the end of Labor Day and Halloween Eve – September 30 – is perfectly reasonable.
Also, because the fall doesn’t occur at the same time globally, putting up your decoration any time between this period is understandable.
So What’s The Final Answer?
October 1 is the most acceptable moment to put up your Halloween decor. However, this is going to depend on the kind of décor you plan to install.
Halloween wreaths and carved pumpkins should be put in the right places between 1st October and the 15th of the same month due to the complex installation processes they involve.
Lightweight décor like ghost-theme décor and faux spider webs can come later – can be a week to Halloween Eve.
If you get overwhelmed with the activities of Labor Day or you need more time to settle after returning from the summer vacation, you can wait until mid-October between 16th and 30th.
These are not ultimate dates though. You are free to quickly install your simple décor right on Halloween Eve, but you might not get enough time to build the spooky spirit in the household.
Bear in mind that your guests or family might ask for a candy corn cake or festive Halloween cocktail – you can’t get the best of these overnight.
Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday celebrated towards the end of November, often the last Thursday of the month.
Unlike Halloween, Thanksgiving is a straightforward holiday with minimal focus on costumes and décor.
A typical American family will prepare a large turkey meal and maybe a religious service and that’s it.
While Thanksgiving décor could be the surefire method to light up the holiday spirits in your home, it has a reputation for being bland and kitschy than chic.
Most homes rarely trouble themselves with the hustle that comes with putting Thanksgiving decorations in order, so you are probably less inclined to put it up before the day.
So what’s the best time to set up your Halloween decoration? Depending on how observant you are, it is perfectly OK to have it neatly set up any time between November 1st and the last Thursday of the same month. For those that may feel uncomfortable setting up the décor shortly after Halloween Eve, one week up to the day sounds more orthodox.
What’s The Right Time To Purchase Fall Decorations?
The earlier the better. It is recommended that you purchase Halloween décor at least a month to the day for two reasons.
Firstly, stores like to overprice their decorations as the day approaches.
So, if you want to save some money, ensure your decoration items are at home at least a month to Halloween Eve when things are reasonably cheap.
Secondly, obtaining your décor a month early helps you avoid the last-minute rush.
The longer you wait to obtain the decorations, the less likely you will get the right décor you want for your home.
Another trick is to wait until the Halloween holiday is over, that is, a day or a week after the holiday.
Well, see, many stores like to announce clearance sales after the holiday to clear the remaining decorations and free some space for the merchandise for the coming holidays.
No store owner would mix the spooky Halloween items with Christmas decorations.
You can take advantage of these clearance sales – often characterized by throwaway prices – to buy a truckload of décor for next year’s Halloween.
However, you can only buy hard long-lasting decorations at this time; such things as pumpkin carvings are perishable, so you’d rather stay away from them.
As aforementioned, many people choose to do away with decorations during Thanksgiving and focus on the turkey meal instead. However, if these decorations mean a lot to you, here is when to obtain them:
1. Cornucopia/horn of plenty
This is one of the traditional Thanksgiving decorations and symbolizes bounty and abundance. Get your cornucopia as early as one month before Thanksgiving.
2. Corn, squash, pumpkin, and guards
These too accompany Thanksgiving to symbolize bounty and abundance.
Unlike Cornucopia, you should buy them close to the day of celebration because of their perishable nature.
Buy your pumpkins, squash, hours to the day – preferably 24 to 12 hours.
Since everyone is more likely to be going for them around this time, you are assured to spend more on them.
3. Indian And Pilgrim Décor
Unbeknown to many people, Native Indians are the main reason we celebrate Thanksgiving.
That’s why the celebrations occasionally feature Native Indians-themed decorations and crafts.
A feather headdress in varying colors is a common decoration and is used to symbolize the role played by the Indians in the initial Thanksgiving celebration.
However, tribal symbols may vary quite widely especially now that much of the traditions and customs have been lost in the mist of time.
Whichever native American craft you choose, get it a month leading to Thanksgiving.
In a nutshell
Whether you are changing/setting up your interior or exterior decor, you are free to hang your fall decor from late August throughout the season.
The best way to go about it is to set it up in September or the beginning of October – aim for that moment when the weather starts to change. Avoid putting up your fall decor before late August.
Remember that your décor needs to stay fresh up to the intended day, whether it’s Halloween, Labor Day, or Thanksgiving.
Also, the décor needs to sync well with the season. You will also want the confusion that comes with allowing décor from the holiday to extend into another unrelated holiday.
So, when should you put up and take down Fall decorations?
For putting up, any time between the start of September and the middle of October sounds about right.
Any time past this up to the end of November is perfect for removal.