Decorating for the Holidays Earlier May Make You Happier, According to Experts

published Sep 29, 2019
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Christmas decorations are divisive. Some people put them up as soon as the weather turns cold and the holiday displays hit the stores, while others wait until the last minute and decorate on Christmas Eve. The debate brings out strong feelings from across the decorating spectrum, with many people insisting their timing choices are best. There’s really no right answer for a question that comes down to personal preference — follow your heart! — but some recent expert input suggests that people who put up holiday decorations earlier may be happier. 

The story comes from UNILAD, which consulted with psychology experts about the case for holiday enthusiasm. Steve McKeown, psychoanalyst, told the publication, “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 the childhood. 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, psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, told UNILAD that the holidays are important because they invoke nostalgia, which, she said, helps people connect with their past and make sense of their identity. 

“For many putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods,” said Morin. “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.”

The article also cites a study from the Journal of Environmental Psychology that suggests holiday decorations tell neighbors you’re accessible and friendly. The argument seems to be that if celebrating holidays has a positive impact, celebrating them for longer by decorating earlier extends that positivity. Whether that means you decorate after Thanksgiving or leave your decorations up year-round, it’s all a matter of what makes you feel best in your own home.