Getting in early with this festive routine makes people happier, science says

Posted in Organisation.

You know it has to be September if stories about Christmas have just started floating around. This particular one suggests that rather than wait until later in the year to get Christmassy (if that’s something your family does) you should go in much earlier … and reap the rewards!

Sparking joy?

Unilad delved into the whole early bird Christmas + happiness correlation in an article titled People Who Put Up Christmas Decorations Early Are Happier, Says Expert.

They chatted to a couple of experts, one of which was psychoanalyst Steve McKeown, to find out whether those people who are climbing on their roof to secure a pulsating neon Rudolph are onto something.

Steve said that this sort of seasonal decorating helps us tap into powerful – and joy-sparking – feelings. Doing it earlier means you can tap into the feelings earlier too.

“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,” Steve told Unilad.

Steve said that stressed out and anxious people can use Christmas decorations as an anchor or pathway to happy memories and positive feelings.

He also notes that you can boost the happy feelings by decorating over a longer period.

“Putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement!”


Unilad also chatted to psychotherapist Amy Morin who said some of the same things but also noted that the feelings sparked might be complicated.

“It may be a bittersweet feeling,” she points out. “Perhaps the holidays serve as a reminder of when a loved one was still alive … 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 Today Show also got in on this happy early decorating theory. They spoke to psychologist Deborah Serani who said that putting up Christmas decorations can actually give you a hit of the feel-good hormone, dopamine.

“It does create that neurological shift that can produce happiness,” she told Today. “I think anything that takes us out of our normal habituation, the normal day in, day out … signals our senses, and then our senses measure if it’s pleasing or not.”

So to sum up. If you put up your Christmas decorations early, you can get a sort of festive pre-release of happiness hormones which you can tap into until it’s time to put the tree away.

You’re so welcome. Merry Christmas!


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