I usually decorate right after Thanksgiving. I loooove Christmas decorations! The first year we were in this house we bought a live, potted tree & after Christmas we planted it in our yard. I decorated it outdoors for many years until it got too tall. (It is a Douglas Fir which is now over 30 feet tall!) The second year we had a cut tree. I didn't know that my tree stand had a hairline crack in it until the carpet started squishing.
After that, I gave up on the real trees. I still love the smell, but don't like cutting down a tree just to stick it in the house for a couple of weeks. In an after Christmas clearance I got two gorgeous 7.5 foot artificial trees. I had intended to alternate from year to year, but I ended up giving one to my Mom. They were a real score, though. They had been close to 300.00 & I got them for 30.00 because they were display models!
A couple of years ago I started putting little hooks on the trim of the house so that I can put up our outside lights with my extendable pole. I only takes me about 1/2 hour to outline the house with the icicle lights. One really cool thing is that our builder put outlets into the soffits so that I don't have to run extension cords all over the place & I can turn them all on with one switch.
I have so many ornaments that 2 years ago I bought a 7 foot tall pencil tree for our family room. (Another after Christmas sale...15.00.) Now I put my fancy ornaments on the big tree in the living room, but the colors of the garland change each year depending on what appeals to me at the moment. I have a ton of organza garland. The pencil tree gets our theme ornaments. I collect the Fancy Feast cat ornaments & a friend always sends us the Star Trek ornaments so this tree is kind of...interesting.
For the first time we have a mantel over the fireplace so I have been giving it the eyeball for a while, trying to decide what to do with it. I also have a lighted garland that I swag along the stair railing with big poofy burgandy velvet bows.