Millions of people enjoy decorating for Christmas, and even those who don’t particularly enjoy it may still decorate as a long-standing tradition. It’s possible to start decorating any time of the year. However, most folks tend to wait until around or after Thanksgiving before they start putting up the tree, Christmas lights, and other decorations. In fact, in a recent poll, about 86 percent of those who were asked said they considered November to be too early to put out Christmas decorations.
Then again, there are those other types of folks, who tend to take things to the other extreme. These folks not only enjoy celebrating Christmas in December, but they also celebrate Christmas in July and may go all out in decorating during the summer season. If you tend to be one of those in the latter group, science may have proved that you’re on to something (as opposed to on something, like your friends and family might have suggested). In fact, there is research out there to suggest that there isn’t really a time constraint on when you should decorate for Christmas.
One of the reasons why you may want to break out those Christmas decorations early is because doing so may make you feel happier. Many people see Christmas decorations in a joyful light, so it can certainly boost one’s mood. According to a psychologist, “it creates that neurological shift that can produce happiness. Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone.”
Why does this happen? Researchers say that when it comes to decorating for Christmas, many of us feel nostalgic. For most, the Christmas season is a time spent with family, big delicious Christmas cookies, and gifts. And it’s these positive memories we tend to hold on to when we become adults.
“The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity,” says Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. “For many, putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.”
Also, keep in mind that not everyone may have such good memories when it comes to Christmas from when they were children. Some folks may not connect the holiday season with happiness, but researchers say that there are still some benefits to decorating even for those with negative Christmas memories.
“For people who have lost a loved one, the holidays may serve as a reminder of happy times they had with that person in the past. Decorating early may help them feel more connected with that individual,” Morin says.
There’s also another benefit to consider, in addition to happiness. Your neighbors may also gain a psychological boost from your decorations. This came from a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, and it explains how your neighbors may see putting up your Christmas decorations as a sign that you are more sociable.
It is impossible to say exactly when it’s best to start putting up your decorations. But if anyone ever tells you that you are doing it too early, you can always point them towards the science that says otherwise.
Steve McKeown, a psychologist, has the following to say: “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.”
I guess it all comes down to doing your own thing.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section, and please be sure to share this story with your friends and family.