How Decorating For The Holidays Early Can Improve Your Mood

By Martin B December 5, 2023

Embracing early holiday decorations, whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, can be a game-changer in boosting your mood and easing seasonal stress. You’ve likely seen those neighbors who turn their homes into winter wonderlands before the Thanksgiving leftovers are even gone.

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While the sparkle of tinsel and lights is delightful, the question lingers: do they hold a secret to holiday happiness?

Scientifically speaking, yes. Psychologists assert that early decorating not only reduces stress but also extends the joy derived from festive embellishments. For those keen on adorning their homes with wreaths and trees, starting early can alleviate the pressure of last-minute preparations. Elaine Rodino, a psychologist, suggests avoiding the stress of procrastination, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season.

Beyond stress relief, early decorations offer psychological perks by extending the festive season. The anticipation and enthusiasm generated by festive furnishings bring an extended sense of happiness, triggering nostalgia for past holiday merriment.

Moreover, the act of decorating your home earlier fosters social connections and a sense of community. Studies suggest that families engaging in holiday decorations are perceived as friendlier, enhancing the communal spirit. Pauline Wallin, a psychologist, emphasizes the connection with the community, especially when outdoor decorations are involved.

For those grappling with holiday blues, early decoration becomes a therapeutic tool. According to cognitive behavioral therapy, engaging in pleasurable activities, even seemingly frivolous ones like decorating, can uplift mood and reconnect individuals with positive memories. “It helps you focus on positive things,” explains Wallin.

Surveys indicate that a substantial number—around 80%—of holiday celebrants in the U.S. decorate their homes before December 1. The act is not just about personal joy; it also contributes to a sense of communal warmth.

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However, psychologists stress the importance of personal choice. While early decoration offers benefits, no one should feel compelled to participate. Respecting individual preferences, especially for those without positive holiday memories, takes precedence. “Do it your way,” advises Rodino, emphasizing the importance of personal happiness during the festive season.