It’s safe to say that nearly everyone is friends with at least one of “those” people on social media. You know, the people who break out their Christmas tree, go wild with garland and share a photo of their holiday decorations on Facebook before we have even carved our Thanksgiving turkeys.
In fact, a 2020 survey conducted by YouGov even revealed that twenty-seven percent of U.S. adults jump the decorating gun and throw up their tinsel before the last Thursday of November.
Before you jump to judge these holiday fanatics, though, you might want to consider joining in on the festivities– because scientists have actually confirmed that decorating for Christmas early can make you happier for various reasons.
Of course, the first and obvious joy factor concerns nostalgia– since Christmas cheer is heavily tied to childhood.
“In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate with things that make them happy. And Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood,” explained psychoanalyst Steven McKeown in a 2017 interview with Unilad.
“Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So, putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement.”
Basically, think of Buddy the Elf– played by Will Ferrell– in the classic Christmas film Elf. After he is thrust into New York City and feels practically worlds away from his home at the North Pole, he gravitates toward gumdrops and Macy’s holiday displays to bring him comfort. So maybe we are not too different from elves after all.
Plus, another less-obvious benefit of decorating your home is how others view you. More specifically, research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that people who decorate earlier are viewed as more “friendly and cohesive” by neighbors.
And what brings more joy than our human nature to connect and socialize with others in the community?