Experts say that early decorations can help in extending the cheer and excitement of the festive season.
Considering how 2020 has tossed all our plans out the window and turned fatal for many, most of us cannot wait for this year to be over. However, despite the anxious chaos that the world is in, the human spirit has always hoped for better times. What better time to raise our hope as we look forward to the holiday season. Yes, we know it is still October. and Christmas isn't going to be here for another 8 weeks. But why should that stop us from thinking about fun decorations, gifts, goodies, and family time?
This isn't just something that will lift our mood while locked indoors, as experts claim that putting up Christmas decorations early can make you happier for longer. Psychologist Deborah Serani said, “It create[s] that neurological shift that can produce happiness. Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone," according to Tip Hero.
Now think about cozy nooks with a Christmas tree; bobbles and bells hanging daintily from the green branches; stockings and reindeers at the fire place; fairy lights, stars, and the smell of freshly baked goodies. Doesn't it instantly put you in a better mood? Psychologists call it savoring. According to Good Housekeeping, it's the moments before the main event that makes people happier. The anticipation of good times increases the good time, lifting and retaining your spirit at a happier note for a longer time by shifting your focus on things that make you cheerful.
It is very much similar to the excitement one feels before a big trip. A study conducted in 2010 revealed that anticipation of a trip makes a huge difference in how people feel after the vacation. What's more, the travel cheer begins weeks before your holiday. Looking forward to the holiday season is also related to nostalgia. Psychologist Steve McKeown said, "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."
It's true, isn't it? When the aroma of freshly baked pies fills the room, it takes you back to your childhood when you used to watch your grandma create her magic. The festive lights and music may also remind us of the times we spend with our family opening our gifts and having meals together.
Psychologist McKeown explained it in similar words as he said, "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!"
Author of 3 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, psychotherapist Amy Morin, explained, "Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many, putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.
"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," she added. So, if you're looking to break the monotony and bring in some cheer, start with planning how you want to decorate your space. Something as small as a string of lights or a colorful star can go a long way.
The experts also feel that the string lights on your roof, the Christmas wreath on the front door, and the Santa Claus on your lawn will bring joy not just to you but to the entire neighborhood. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, people perceive you as friendlier and more welcoming if you have your house decorated outdoors. Earlier this year, House Beautiful reported that people were putting up their Christmas lights back on as a symbol of hope amid the coronavirus outbreak. With schools shutting down and a massive amount of unemployment, this little gesture gave many the will to continue.
The longer you engage in such small moments of joy, the excitement of the holiday season will prolong, giving you something to look forward to. You could also take more breaks and make yourself some hot cocoa or bake a batch of cookies cause simply because you deserve to indulge yourself now and then.