Why It’s Really Good to Decorate “Early” at Christmas, According to Science

I design December Christmas completely and unwaveringly. (Before the kids, sometimes only in the middle of the month before I decorate the halls.) Not a single ornament leaves the box, not a sprig of holly tickles the fireplace, not a tree makes its way through the front door until Thanksgiving. I don’t like seasonal rush at all; I am discreetly offended by both the pumpkin spices on store shelves in August and the Christmas trees decorating my local Costco while I shop at school.

So it baffles me a lot when people decorate their doorways with garlands and pull out the green and red check duvet covers that come with their Bear Christmas sheets while it’s still main Halloween season, at least according to my front yard.

But as it turns out, those who decorate before may know something we don’t know: Not only do they seem more friendly, open, and outgoing to neighbors , but they may also experience mental health benefits.

Waiting, nostalgia and distraction

As Kelly Sopchak, Ph.D., writes for Vital Record , people who decorate early can enjoy three main benefits: the anticipation of “anticipating happier times,” the comfort of nostalgia that “ helps heighten feelings of social connectedness and support, ” and a distraction from current stressors. …

Psychoanalyst and mentality coach Steve McKeown supported this idea when he told UNILAD , “In a world full of stress and anxiety, people love to associate things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood. Jewelry is just an anchor or path to those magical emotions of old childhood that cause excitement. “

(He did admit that sometimes there are deeper, symptomatic reasons for being “obsessed” with early beautification, such as past neglect. But here we are focusing on a standard issue – not over-or-over escapist – beautification.)

Jewelry can boost your wellness hormones

As psychologist Deborah Serani said today , jewelry not only takes us out of our daily routine and reminds us of simpler and happier times, but also “creates a neurological shift than happiness can bring.” “Christmas decorations will stimulate the release of dopamine, the feel-good hormone.” (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends signals to the pleasure and reward center in your brain.) Serani pointed out that effects similar to those obtained with “chromotherapy” or color therapy, an alternative medicine practice used to treat pain, may be responsible for the spike. … …

Helps Fight Depression

While the holidays can be depressing for some, there is a downside to the coin. As Dr. Marcus De Carvalho, a board-certified psychiatrist, told First Coast News , this period of thinking about others can really help people with depression. “Depression is what we focus on internally; it’s almost like a trapdoor, ”said Dr. De Carvalho. “But with the holidays this is an opportunity to give, and not to think internally.”

Plus, we’re more likely to get out of our own home for the holidays. “We want to go to different places and see the lights of people,” said Dr. De Carvalho. “When we do this, it strengthens our communities and improves our mood.”

So what are you waiting for?

Despite these myriad mood-boosting bonuses, for me personally, early Christmas decoration feels like a disservice to Turkey Day and raises concerns about the 6,372 new responsibilities I now have to make the season magical for my family. So, am I planning to decorate in November soon? No. But will I look askance at those who put on the nativity scene early?

Now that I understand why they might be doing this … I will really try not to.


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