Labor Day is upon us, which means that fall is creeping up around the corner. Depending on your personality and preferences, this may please you or not (I’m pretty pregnant, so come on cooler weather!), but according to the latest science, busting out your Christmas decorations earlier is guaranteed to make you happier if you’re a human being who celebrates the season.
Even the earliest of decorators typically won’t dare until the day after Halloween – fall decorations are fun, too, after all, especially if you have kids – and most of us will give them the side-eye. What about Thanksgiving, we ask? It’s a holiday, too, and WITH TURKEY.
Well, it turns out you “save it for after Thanksgiving” haters are wrong, at least insofar as the effect that putting those decorations up whenever you feel like it has on the homeowners and the people around them. According to psychoanalyst and owner of the McKeown Clinic Steve McKeown:
“Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, it’s most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.”
Alternatively, he also believes that it could have a lot to do with the strong pull of our childhood memory and experiences.
“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 childhood. Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old magical emotions of excitement.”
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology also concludes that decorating early outside your house makes you appear more friendly and is more likely to engage your neighbors.
Amy Morin, psychotherapist and best-selling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, has her own ideas about why celebrating the holidays for as long as possible makes you happier:
“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.”
Whatever your reasons, here’s the bottom line – if putting up your decorations in the fall instead of in December makes you happier, do it! Your house, your rules, and it sounds as if your neighbors might end up thanking you in the long run, too.
Happy Holidays, whenever you choose to begin celebrating.