Is it a sin to decorate the yard and house for Christmas on Sunday?


I understand that it is a grave sin to do unnecessary work on Sunday for a long period of time. I have fulfilled my Sunday obligation to attend Holy Mass but I’d like to take advantage of this nice weather (not too cold) to decorate the yard for Christmas. I work in weekdays but by the time I get home it’s usually dark.

I appreciate your inputs!



Are you really planning to decorate or not decorate depending upon what a bunch of random strangers on the internet post to your thread?

There are people who post here who have seriously lacking conscience formation who think almost nothing is a sin, some who are Catholics and some not.

There are people who post here with mental health issues and may also lack proper consciecne formation or suffer from scrupulosity who think nearly everything is a sin.

I suggest you connect with your pastor and ask him to help you form your conscience properly regarding servile work and Sunday. Servile work is not simply any work. We are not Jews who even consider turning on the oven to be “work” on the Sabbath and therefore cook meals ahead of time. We do not define leisure activities as “work”. Even actual work can be done on Sundays-- feeding livestock, working in a store if you have no control over your schedule, police, fire, etc.

So, my question back to you is why do you think that putting up Christmas decorations is “work”, and particularly why do you think it would be work prohibited on Sunday? How much have you read in the Catechism on this topic?


Dear 1ke,

Thank you for taking the time to give inputs. I admit that I’m suffering from scrupulosity. That’s why I’m asking for inputs to help me discern. I also have not read in the Catechism regarding this topic.

I have a feeling that putting up Christmas decorations on Sunday may not be a sin but I cannot pin it down as to why not. I though that any work that could be postponed to weekdays should not be done on Sunday as it was reserved for studying about the faith, leisure activities, and rest.

But from your inputs, I take that it’s OK to put up Christmas decorations on Sunday :slight_smile:



Decorating for the holidays is the opposite of “servile toil.”




Putting up Christmas decorations can be fun and a good way for family to spend time together. I would probably consider decorating to be a leisure activity for most people. There are things that require physical work (such as gardening) but they are actually hobbies and ways for people to enjoy themselves and relax.

Make some hot chocolate and grab a few friends or family. Decorate for Christmas, play some festive music, and watch a good movie when you are done decorating. Decorating can be turned into a party!


Doubt very much that it is a sin; it canbe alot of fun!! :smiley: :bounce: :nun1:


I agree. It is not “work” in the sense of being “unnecessary work” or “servile” work. I had to work a lot of Sundays for years as a Catholic, but finally convinced my Director of Nursing to give me Saturdays off (so I could attend Vigil Mass) and volunteered to take the place of those Nurses who belonged to churches (not Catholic) who made no exceptions except for firemen and police. They did not accept Nursing as “necessary or excused” for those Nurses. So, I eventually made a habit of going to Vigil Mass (meeting my Sunday Obligation), and worked helping the sick on Sundays, which I offered to the Lord. As for decorating on Sunday – I’m putting up my little 24" LED tree and my Nativity today. But our Masses were all cancelled this weekend as we got 12" of snow and when they plowed the roads, they froze to a sheet of ice last night. Our Priest asked us to spend an hour or two with prayer and Scripture instead. I think decorating while you have some decent weather would be leisure and family time, and not a sin, since you did go to Mass. Have fun, listen to some nice Christmas hymns, have hot chocolate and watch a nice Christmas movie with the family!! God Bless and Merry Christmas and a blessed Advent Season!


Hi Martin,

I am sorry that you are suffering with scrupulosity. I too would talk to your pastor about what constitutes a sin, if you’re not sure.

I hope that you decided to decorate your home today, for the holidays. :slight_smile:


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