When is it time to start decorating for Christmas?

A San Diego lighting design firm said their installation teams have been working seven days a week since Sept. 28.

SAN DIEGO – According to tradition, Christmas trees and decorations should be placed on the first day of Advent, the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This year, that date falls on Sunday, November 27 but more and more people in San Diego County are putting up their Christmas decorations earlier.

David Necaise started Design smart Enlightenment 20 years ago. He and his crew have been installing Christmas lights in San Diego for decades.

“We start earlier and earlier every year. Fifteen years ago we were lucky enough to get them booked on November 1st and 2 and now, by September 28e we are already rolling full steam ahead,” said Necaise.

Necaise and its installation crews have been working seven days a week since September 28. Necaise says the shift to decorate early started during the COVID pandemic.

“I got calls from existing customers in July and August in 2020 and they said, can we put up my Christmas lights now, Dave? And I’m like – dude. I’m ready! Let’s bring the joy! Let’s light up your life!” Necaise said.

The Design Smart Lighting teams currently decorate 30-50 homes per week. He says the average two-story home can cost $695 dollars for lighting and installation. A larger home can cost up to $7,000.

Necaise is a full-service leasing company, he supplies all the equipment: the lights, the chords, the attachments, etc. And he comes back after Christmas to tear everything down.

He says there are companies that charge less, but he often has to go and repair work that cheaper companies do. Or, he says, other companies will install the lights and disappear after Christmas and a homeowner will call him to come and remove them. He says: “Christmas lights bring joy. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and it makes me happy, especially when I see all the faces of the children.”

But there are some Scrooges in the crowd. He says he ran into another one on Coronado last week.

“We put up streamers. It’s all over the fence and around the block. And so this older gentleman started walking past us and he said – you’re kidding! And I looked at him and I said – we ‘I absolutely love no kidding,” said Necaise.

A post on the NextDoor app last week exploded with hundreds of comments and reactions. The message said:

“I don’t mean to be irreverent, and I’ll preface this with the fact that I love Christmas, but… can we make it illegal to put up Christmas decorations outside for Thanksgiving? I might add to play Christmas music in stores, but I realize that’s a long shot!! Sincerely, your neighbor who really isn’t a Grinch☺️”

The post received a lot of support and a lot of ridicule. We asked people at a mall in Rancho Penasquitos if they thought the Christmas lights should wait until after Thanksgiving, or if they should go up now.

One couple jumped right back into a debate they said was already underway. The woman says it’s never too early. The man says you have a holiday for the holiday, so celebrate one before the other.

Another woman had a great idea to enlist your guests to help you put up your lights on Thanksgiving.

One woman told us, “I used to think about Thanksgiving, but now I’m kind of on it. I just don’t think for Halloween.” One man said, ‘I’m an after-Thanksgiving man. Just to get through each vacation consecutively. Linear thinking.”

Tips if you like odd jobs

Whether you’re hanging your lights this weekend or Christmas Eve, Necaise has tips for doing it safely.

  • Don’t fall off the roof. He says: “There are many things that can go wrong. Ladder placement. Just make sure you take the right steps and don’t be in a hurry.”
  • Do not crowd the plugs. Use extension agreements.
  • Know where there may be water. If there are cords running on the ground, you can extend them above the ground so they don’t get soaked with water.
  • Make sure that chords and connections are not in the gutter. Make sure they are neatly and tightly cut outside the gutter so that the connections do not end up in the water

WATCH RELATED: Light the Way | Come skate with 8 at Rady Children’s rink at Liberty Station


  1. ADD THE CBS8+ APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE of the year | Amazon Fire

  1. DOWNLOAD THE CBS 8 MOBILE APP | iPhone | Android

  1. CBS 8 ON SOCIAL MEDIA |Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube

Leave a Reply