Deck The Halls: Studies Claim People Who Decorate For Christmas ‘Too Early’ Are Happier
Are you the type of person who likes to listen to Christmas carols all year? Or do you cringe at houses decorated for the winter holiday before Thanksgiving has even arrived?
There are few things more divisive than the “appropriate” time to start decorating for Christmas. Just because it’s the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t mean everyone is on board with getting in the festive spirit ahead of time. In fact, people even go so far as to start petitions on Change.org (the petition only had 15 supporters) begging others to “stop premature Christmas decorating,” as if it were a real menace to society.
However, evidence does show that people who like to decorate on the early side for the holidays tend to be happier. So, if you ever needed a way to defend yourself against the grinches who like to postpone Christmas joy, you can officially let them know that they’re the ones missing out.
There are mixed messages out there when it comes to the appropriate time to decorate for Christmas. While there’s no objectively right or wrong answer, some unwritten rules do exist. One school of thought says that you’re free to deck the halls as soon as Halloween is over. However, another group of people will tell you that the proper beginning to decorating season doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving.
The right time may be a matter of opinion, but experts have explained why those who like to decorate on the early side may be the ones who actually have it all figured out. Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown explains: Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.
In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood. Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extend the excitement!
So it turns out, putting up the tinsel ahead of time might go much deeper than just wanting to celebrate your favorite holiday. It’s a way to relive times that were more magical and carefree, or even to make up for a lack of Christmas magic in the past.
With all of that said, people decorate to different degrees.
Some people may just put up their tree early and add some Christmas music to their playlists. Others go all out and make the outside of their homes shine like Times Square. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, decorations are used as “a way of communicating accessibility to neighbors.”
The study found that people are more likely to perceive their neighbors as friendly if they have decorations. The same logic is often applied by children trick-or-treating. When a house is really decorated, you know the candy is going to also be really good.
For others, decorating for Christmas is all about nostalgia. Amy Morin, psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, says that decorating is all about reminders of the past. She explains that reconnecting with your personal past is a comfort-inducing feeling.Amy puts this into perspective by saying, “Looking at a Christmas tree reminds someone of what life was like when they still believed in Santa.”
Moreover, the holiday season reminds most people of family, including those they have lost. In a way, decorating can make you feel close to someone whom you miss being able to spend the holidays with.
Whatever the reason, people who decorate for Christmas early are doing it to make them happy.
Those who opt to do it sooner, rather than later, just want to be happier for longer.