Why are Christmas decorations up so early in Carmel?


Many people feel that Christmas season shouldn’t begin until after Thanksgiving. Stores put up their displays earlier and earlier – sometimes before Halloween – leading many to say, “Already? It’s too soon!”

In the Carmel Arts & Design District, the holiday decorations, such as lights, ribbons, pine garland and more, began to be put up on Nov. 1.

While some might think it’s “too early,” there are very good reasons why the City of Carmel starts so early.

First off, weather is critical. We might have early snow which means that it would unsafe or difficult to put up the decorations. Plus, the same people at the street department who help put up the decorations are often responsible for snow removal.

Second, there are thousands of lights and all of them have to be tested to find any electrical issues. It takes time. And with the Holiday on the Square event on Nov. 21 in the Arts District, it’s not as far away as some might think. Some years, the displays end up bigger than the year before, which takes more work. Last year, the Japanese garden was lit up with decorations.

Finally, I’ve heard many business owners say they want the decorations up early. It’s in their financial interest to get people thinking about holiday shopping. Holiday parties need to be planned in advance and gifts are purchased earlier and earlier. Merchants might not put up their decorations until Thanksgiving in many cases, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t already anticipating a busy season.