As Decorations Go Up, So Does your Holiday Spirit


Maggie Maisano, Staff Writer

A debate that is almost as old as the holidays themselves has taken social media by storm. When exactly is the right time to start decorating? Some people pull the decorations out right after Halloween, while others wait until December 23rd to decorate. I think that most people fall right in between, waiting to decorate until around Thanksgiving time. Personally, I put my decorations up early, about a week or two before Thanksgiving. 

As it starts getting colder and the days are shorter thanks to daylight saving time, the winter depression starts to kick in. There soon won’t be much to look forward to until it’s warm again, except for the holidays. Scientists have actually found that decorating for Christmas can make you happier because it brings feelings of nostalgia and excitement. The twinkling lights, hot chocolate, and plaid blankets are the perfect way to beat the winter blues. That’s one of the reasons why I decorate early. 

According to psychologist Deborah Serani, “Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone. It does create that neurological shift that can produce happiness.” The bright lights and the colors are thought to boost energy levels, as well as joy. The ambiance of Christmas decorations is also thought to trigger happy hormones in the brain.

¨In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate with things that make them happy¨

Decorating for Christmas can also bring back feelings of nostalgia. Steve McKeown, a psychoanalyst, told Unilad “…there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, [but] it’s most commonly for nostalgic reasons, either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.” For many people, putting up decorations reminds them of simpler times as a child. “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,” says McKeown. So putting up Christmas decor early can extend the excitement of childhood memories that people feel when they see Christmas decorations.

Based on this information, one could argue that putting up your decorations early can make you a happier person. Christmas decorations are shown to boost moods and release happy hormones like dopamine in the brain, as well as bringing a feeling of joy from nostalgia and childhood memories.