November 26, 2017

Putting up Christmas decorations early can make you happier, psychologist says

Psychology Holidays
christmas tree farm Nathaniel_Young /iStock.com

Though the drone of Christmas music when it’s barely November is enough to send bouts of anxiety to listeners, new research suggests that people who decorate early for the holidays are generally happier.

Steve McKeown, a psychoanalyst from the McKeown Clinic, told UNILAD that many people are drawn toward putting up decorations early because it evokes instant nostalgia and the chance to “relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect” in their childhoods.

“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,” McKeown said.

“Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement.”

A study out of Temple University and the University of Utah way back in 1989 also looked at how Christmas decorations can shape the perception of a particular neighbor or family on a residential street. Subjects in the study turned out to associate friendliness and sociability with residents of decorated homes.

Another psychologist recently discussed how too-early holiday music can create anxiety, in part because it reminds listeners of all the tasks that lay before them in the upcoming holiday season. Looks like getting those decorations in place early, however, can give peace of mind as one less thing to worry about. 

Plus, now that Thanksgiving is officially over (though it was early this year), it seems you're in the safe zone for decorations -- and even music.