People Who Decorate for Christmas Early Are Happier According to Psychologists

Mark Pygas - Author

Aug. 15 2019, Updated 9:09 a.m. ET

Source: istock

While many people are complaining that Halloween decorations are making their way into stores while it's still summer, many people are already getting set for Christmas. And according to psychologist Steve McKeown, putting your Christmas decorations up early could be a sign that you're happier. 

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Unilad spoke to Steve McKeown, Psychoanalyst, founder of MindFixers and owner of The McKeown Clinic, who explained the physiological reason people decorate for Christmas early.

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McKeown said:

"Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect." 

"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!"

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Amy Morin, psychotherapist and best-selling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, also spoke to Unilad about the practice, adding:

"The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia. 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."

"It may be a bittersweet feeling. Perhaps the holidays serve as a reminder of when a loved one was still alive. Or maybe looking at a Christmas tree reminds someone of what life was like when they still believed in Santa."

"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."

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As well as acting as an anchor back to childhood, decorations can also offer an olive branch to neighbors according to the Journal of Environmental Psychology. A study in the journal suggested that decorations can be used as "cues as a way of communicating their accessibility to neighbors."

Participants in the study were shown houses covered in decorations and some that were not. They concluded that the decorated homes were more "friendly and cohesive." 

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