Tis the season of twinkling lights and evergreen boughs, but should you deck the halls while they are for sale? Let’s talk about the pros and cons of decorating for the holidays while your home is on the market.

How much do you love the holidays? Not everyone loves them

December is the traditional month of excess. We spend too much, we bake too much, we eat too much (boy, do we eat too much!). You can’t go into any place of business without being offered a sweet treat or being tempted by a box of chocolates sitting on the reception desk. If you are a die-hard lover of the holidays while you're selling your home, you need to take a step back because well, not everyone loves the holidays. You never know, the Grinch might be finally looking to downsize from Mount Crumpet!

Not decorating may make you seem uncaring

So about not decorating for the holidays in the name of selling your home. Play it cautious here because you could inadvertently present yourself as uncaring - you don’t want to come across as the Ebenezer Scrooge type. You want buyers to realize how much time, effort and love have gone into caring for your home. A light frosting from the Sugarplum Fairy can be just the thing to show buyers it’s not all about making the sale, it’s about passing on the space you have loved (and still do love) to another.

Decorating can make your space look cluttered and too personal

Think less about becoming a local legend like the Rae Street House and more like the Scandinavian series from Crate and Barrel. While your home is for sale it will get the best positive response from buyers if they can see themselves living there. All your sacred keepsake holiday décor may present your home in a way that looks, well, too "you" and not enough "them". Holiday décor is probably the hardest time to depersonalize because the holidays build on traditions, year after year.

Decorating can create the fantasy for the buyer spending the holidays in their (YOUR!) home

Creating that feeling of love at first sight is what great home staging is all about. You want to help buyers love your home. Decorating for the holidays is central to families - many buyers will consider where to put the Christmas tree even when they are viewing a home in the heat of mid- July! If your home has traditional holiday features such as vaulted ceilings in the living room for a grand tall tree or a traditional hearth for hanging stockings, show this off to home buyers during the month of December and help them see themselves on the couch with an eggnog latte on Christmas morning. (Okay, maybe not there on Christmas morning, that would be awkward, but on their own Christmas morning after they buy the place!).

Wondering how much is too much? Go on a field trip and take hints from the Scandinavians - walk through the Ikea showroom or indulge in a visit to Crate and Barrel to soak up luxe, but not over-the-top holiday decorating (but you might want to stop short of recreating the Woodwards’ displays at Canada Place!).

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