Do You Decorate Early for the Holidays? Psychologists Say It May Make You Happier

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Halloween is still more than one month away, but you’ve already got Christmas on the brain. If you find yourself sketching a green and red lighting design or dragging the plastic Santa’s out of storage, don’t worry—some experts say early decorating can actually make you happier.

The tree. The tinsel. The teeny tiny blinking lights that adorn your windows. Christmas decor is an annual reminder of the joy and excitement that jolly ol’ St. Nick brings.

photo: Debby Hudson via Unsplash

Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown spoke to the British website Unilad about the subject several years ago, saying, “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!”

Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author, echoed this sentiment telling Unilad, “The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.”

Along with the sense of nostalgia for our childhoods, it’s also possible the early change from everyday outdoor decor to magical twinkling lights could add to the joy. Psychologist Deborah Serani told Today Home, “It does create that neurological shift that can produce happiness.” Serani added, “I think anything that takes us out of our normal habituation, the normal day in, day out … signals our senses, and then our senses measure if it’s pleasing or not.”

—Erica Loop



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