Is it too early to put up Christmas lights?  Asking for a jolly friend.

In May of this year, Better Homes & Gardens said it's never too early for Christmas Decorations.  They list "it could make you happier," and "it'll make your neighbors like you" as a couple of reasons why.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of factors that go into identifying the best time to put up your outdoor Christmas decorations in the winter wonderland that we call Michigan.

Facts to Consider Before Putting Up Outdoor Christmas Decorations

  • Your electric bill.
  • The weather.
  • Being judged by neighbors.
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Electric Bill

If you run your Christmas lights from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, according to CNBC, it will cost Michigananders on average $20.19.  That's far lower than I expected.  In fact, Electric Choice points out how incredibly expensive the most famous outdoor home decorations would cost to light today,

If Clark Griswold were to decorate his house for Christmas and pay today’s national average of 12 cents per kWh, it’d cost him $1,600!

Depending on how many lights you're putting up, and if they are LED or incandescent, the cost apparently could be between $20 and $1,600.  That's not very helpful.

Electric Meter with clipping path
Melinda Fawver

The Weather

I remember most people would put up Christmas lights and other outdoor Christmas decor on Thanksgiving weekend.  Having time off and feeling the Holiday spirit clearly made that weekend the most popular time to decorate for the Holidays in recent years.  The problem is, in Michigan the average high temp is 42° the average low temp is °30 on Thanksgiving Day.  If this is a major factor for you, a good solution maybe to put your Christmas lights up on November 1st, but don't turn them on until Thanksgiving week.

Temperature Gauge in the Snow
Jonathan Larsen

Judgy Neighbors

You just can't fix grumpy neighbors.  In fact, our neighbors to the South, also known as Ohio, seem a little grumpy.  North Ridgeville, Ohio police recently posted a warning on facebook to not put of Christmas decorations too early,

...we feel it is incumbent upon us to point out that regardless of what you read, Christmas season does NOT start tomorrow. We're looking into it but it might be considered Disorderly Conduct to put Christmas decorations out tomorrow and if enough people on your street do it, possibly Aggravated Riot.

Clearly, they're just kidding.  However, people do get bent out of shape when you put lights up early in the season.  But if it makes you happy and your lights aren't preventing your neighbors from sleeping, do your holly jolly thing.

Shocked senior man looking out of window, nosy neighbor

We just gave you a lot of info in the hopes that you can make an educated decision on when to put your outdoor Christmas lights up.  We have one more weapon in our Holiday arsenal.  We asked people on Facebook, "when is it OK to put up Christmas lights in Michigan?"

We saw lots of answers like "before Thanksgiving because of the cold weather," or "I celebrate Thanksgiving by putting my lights up."  By far the most popular answer was, "do whatever makes you happy."

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